Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peekaboo Barn: Great introductory app for wee ones

There really isn't much that a mom wouldn't love about this app.  It's probably one of the best apps for parents who wish to get their child hooked on technology at an early age because of the simplicity of it.  After the parent hits start and shows his or her little one how to tap on the barn doors, it won't take much to keep the child wanting more.  The barn doors open and a dog, goat, cow, or another cartoon barnyard critter will appear and make its traditional noise.  The app will then display the name of the animal and a voice (you can choose from an English-speaking child or adult or a Spanish-speaking adult) will name the animal.  Finally, after introducing all of the animals, the sun sets and the sky begins to light up with stars. A slight trembling will come from the barn. Upon opening the doors, your child will discover that the animals are all asleep and snoring. The English-speaking child (credited as "Lily, age 2") gives the most adorable whispered statement of the animals and their slumber at the end.

There is a lite version of Peekaboo Barn, but I suggest you just go for the full version.  It's just $1.99 and it is something that will be used for quite awhile.  I've got a feeling that we just might splurge and get a few more from Night & Day Studios because this one has been one of IM's favorites.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Furry friend: A puppet to LOVE!


I absolutely love this app from Plutinosoft and my boys approve of the crazy antics of the puppet, Lenord.  Just a simple touch on the puppet's body will cause him to "chomp" at the finger, laugh as if he were tickled, or grimace.  The user also has the options of seeing Lenord play with a balloon, eat a sandwich with great gusto, chug a drink through a straw, pop realistic bubbles around the furry guy, and watch Lenaord doze.  The truly wonderful thing about Lenord is that after clicking the pinwheel button, a youngster can set the pinwheel spinning by blowing into the iPad's microphone.  This is wonderful for children who need to develop stronger breathing.

But, the story of Lenord's creation is amazing. From the creator of Lenord:  "8 months ago, our 6 year old labrador was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. After we had to put her down, our children were missing her so much that we thought we could maybe build an app using videos of her we had recorded over the years. The idea was to not just playback videos but include interactivity in a way that it felt real enough for a 3 year old. Unfortunately we needed something more 'staged', videos that we could 'loop'. Instead, we decided to record videos of cute puppies in a more controlled environment. We also had to build a special recording app we called 'Segment Capture', that would let us overlay a live feed over a previously recorded video. This was important to create videos we could stitch, loop or transition to and create an impression of continuity."

Lenord was developed with a homemade green screen and a lot of trial and error.  I hope to see more interactive puppets like this in the future.