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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Heggs

We took Jen Hughes’ advice and tried out the TACU app. It’s lots of fun and if you use your imagination, educational too. I asked my girls to tell me what eggs would say if they could talk, here’s the result!

Smiiiiiiiile!

Over Christmas I reorganised the home pages on my iPhone to put all the child friendly apps in one place, I also downloaded a few new ones to try and promptly forgot I’d done any of it.
Now that she’s a proficient sideswiper, I let Babi1.0 play with the phone in the mornings while I’m changing Babi2.0’s nappy or grabbing an extra 5 minutes in bed. She can easily navigate to ‘her page’ and find something to explore. This happens 2 or 3 times a week and other than keeping half an eye to check she’s not discovered any hidden in-app purchases I’ve pretty much left her to it.

About a fortnight ago she started asking if she could play ‘spider skinny blocks’. Umm what’s that!? Turns out it’s a Toca Boca building game. I asked her to show me how it works and then sat pretty gobsmacked as she demonstrated a fairly complex series of maneuvers and built a pink and purple wall. Later I had a look at what she’d been up to and found 5 other levels she’d been working on. Thumbs up again to Toca Boca for that one.

Feeling fairly proud of my girl I started scrolling through my photos, only they weren’t all my photos. Interspersed throughout my snaps of the two Babis playing and my baking exploits I find a series of 30 pictures of my bottom taken at toddler height another 20 or so of dolls, and a few cushions. The photos are taken on different days, it’s something she’s apparently been doing for about a month now. This isn’t something I’ve taught her directly, she has seen it done and worked it out for herself. They are deliberate attempts to take pictures and some of the results are lovely.

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