A contrived title I know, but you'll soon see why.
When The Boy was about 16 months old I gave him the iPod Touch to play with one day. Just a simple bubble-popping app (see? Makes sense now doesn't it?) but he soon understood what he had to do and from then on in I was finding apps ever couple of days for him to play. I always loaded these for him. Invariably I would get frustrated as hell when he would then press the 'home' button, thereby cancelling the game and resulting in him grunting at me and calling 'Mummy, help!'
Less than two months later, I was sitting at the dining table fussing with something (probably twitter) while The Boy played at my feet. I glanced down to check he was ok and found him pressing the 'home' button yet again. I sighed and went to reach down before I stopped sharply. He was switching between screens to find 'his' apps and loading the games that he wanted to play. Completely independently.
Since then he's gone from strength to strength, through the apps on the iPod he's learnt various shapes that I wouldn't have thought to have taught him yet (diamond and hexagon!), colours, recognition of (some) numbers, let alone the matching skills and logical development. It now means that I'm constantly on the look-out for new and engaging apps to further his understanding and development.
We've been asked to review two, and I was only too pleased to accept the offer.
My First JCB
This is a lovely little app, perfect for most boys. There are a number of different games that can be played:
The vast majority of the games are easy enough and The Boy barely needed any input aside from with the 'sorting' and 'memory'. The 'racing' and 'action' games are too hard for him at present. However, The Boy liked playing the jigsaws, matching, dot-dot, painting, etc.
It helps though if your little ones know what a JCB or a digger is because various games within the app focus on things like a bucket, mixer, scoop etc. This app is suitable for 2year olds+, definitely pre-schoolers.
My First JCB is available from iTunes for £1.49 (limited offer)
Postman Pat SDS
This is a little more complicated than the JCB app and would be more suitable for children aged four or over. There are a variety of different games that can be played, with each game having three different levels: easy, medium and hard.
The Boy struggled with most of these games, as they require a little bit more manual dexterity than he has, with quicker reflexes. Out of the eight, he could do two: Thompson Farm and Pencaster Trains.
While the images are bright and attractive, the animation mostly slick and clever, it can't disguise from the fact that it's too hard for it's target market. With an introductory screen for each game that has a paragraph of small writing on it, not many pre-schoolers would be able to play this without assistance. Definitely for the older child.
Postman Pat SDS is available from iTunes for £1.99
I was provided with free download codes for these apps for the purpose of this review. My opinion, and that of The Boy, are honest and unbiased.