On the BabiTech iPhone

I’m sure you’re all dying to know which apps made it to the current BabiTech list. If there’s something missing that Babis 1 and 2 really need to have, stick it in the comments and we’ll try it out.

IMG_4720Toca Boca

Toca Boca’s Hair Xmas, Toca Builders, Toca Band, Toca Fairy Tales, Toca Hair Salon 2, Toca Kitchen Monster, Toca Doctor

Yes we are huge fans of Toca Boca, no they didn’t pay me to say that. We’ve not found one we don’t all like. The games are well thought out, catchy but not mindless, creative, educational and fun.

Apps Cymraeg

S4C Cyw, Cyw a’r Wyddor, Mwnci Bach, Tref a Tryst, Cyfri gyda Cyw, Ben Dant

The apps produced by S4C are pretty good, my favourites are Cyw a’r Wyddor which helps teach letter formation (Welsh alphabet) and Cyfri gyda Cyw which does the same with numbers. Mwnci Bach is one of those interactive games where the monkey repeats back to you whatever you say, it frequently breaks and I recently removed it as it drives me nuts and has little edcational value. Ben Dant is Babi 2’s favourite, there’s a memory game, a spot the difference and a couple of other games with a pirate theme.

Big Click‘s Llythrennau and Llawysgrifen are excellent letter learning games created by a company in the Rhondda, just up the road from BabiTech HQ. They have a real community focus and work closely with kids, more about them soon I hope!

The Rest

Lightbot – one hour coding There are a few apps in the lightbot series and they all teach coding through a series of tasks which you have to programme the animated robot to complete. It’s cute and simple but needs some basic app literacy and a patient adult on standby.

TACU I have talked about before, great fun adding animated faces and audio to any picture, this is one of those apps to work on together as the interface is not terribly child friendly.

Singing Fingers is so lovely and creative, I wish the iPhone version worked as well as the iPad one does. It’s Babi1’s favourite way to make a lot of noise. Touching the screen triggers audio recording and leaves a mark, you re-touch the mark to play back the sound. Babi1 likes to sing a scale whilst drawing a spiral and then play it back backwards tracing her finger back over the pattern she drew.

If that sounds too complicated watch the video

And last but not least, my favourite app of all time is Qiver (formerly ColAR Mix) the augmented reality colouring book. You have to print the pictures from their website (pdfs so you can save them) and colour them in however you like. Then scan them with the app and see them come to life. Magical!

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Half Birthday

We celebrate half birthdays here in the Babitech house, it’s a great excuse to eat more cake. I think the little one gets a rough deal as her half birthday is on Christmas day but it’ll be a few years before she works that one out.

30 months have flown by and our baby has become a little girl. She can turn on the tv with the remote or the button, unlock a touch screen mobile phone, play simple games on a laptop, phone or tablet, adjust volume and brightness, pause and re-start a youtube video, recognise letters and numbers on a keyboard and switch things off when she’s had enough of them. However she still can’t quite believe that a MacBookPro screen doesn’t respond to her swiping it!

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Babi2.0 arrived 10 weeks ago, she’s not interested unless there’s a milk app.

Give it a bash!

I always thought that banging on the top of the telly or tapping the remote on the coffee table was a practice confined to my grandparents’ generation, but this month BabiTech can confirm that it is a natural human reflex.  Now 26.5 months old, Babi’s first reaction to a technology fail is to tap the screen.  If that doesn’t work, you’ve guessed it, she tries switching it off and on again!

Over the last six weeks or so our little one has watched her first streamed film (Gnomeo and Juliet) and has played her first computer games.  I’m still reeling that she managed to beat me on Google Doodle basketball during the Olympics but she had previously had some practice with space-bar action tossing pancakes for Daddy Pig.

By far the most engaging and imaginative games I’ve found this month are on the Cbeebies website, with your permission, the site switches your webcam on at certain points during the games so it looks like the game player is there on screen.  Babi was pretty amazed to see herself sitting on the NinkyNonk alongside IgglePiggle and blown away by the sparkly magic of the Tree Foo Tom interactive adventures.  You have to move your hands in a certain pattern to “make the magic”.  I’ve not experimented with it yet to find out how it works but it’s pretty clever, and if I get caught playing toddler games I may never live it down!