I’ve been reading reviewing iPhone apps recently, my own experiences with them and what have been successful and what haven’t.
Lego Duplo have produced an iOS app based around their mega successful Duplo range. It’s rated as 4+ but in my view it’s too simple for 4 year olds. My 3 year old isn’t interested in it anymore because there isn’t enough thinking behind what the user does.
There are five games and a night time mode, that has jumping sheep and Duplo blocks and a soothing tune. I’ve never used an iPad or this app to get my kids to sleep so I have no idea how successful it would be. It is a nice idea though if you’re away from home and desperate.
Barnyard Serenade: a matching pairs game. There are only 3 pairs to match so it is short enough to keep a younger child’s attention. Once you’ve matched all your pairs you get to build with some Duplo blocks by touching them. This game has an awesome tune to it!
Sort out the Blues: find the blue Duplo blocks to get the rocket to speed up. If you hit a different colour then nothing happens. Lovely space scenery and the Duplo blocks are nice and large.
Brick Racer: it took me a while to work out you swiped the screen right to get the car to go faster. For months we watched this Duplo car trundle around the course. The best part of this game is the scenery, touching the screen makes noises and actions happen; which was the only thing that kept us entertained while this car trundled slowly around.
Stick Together: I don’t really like this one. It might be because we haven’t figured out what we’re supposed to do. You press the train, it makes noises, and Duplo blocks fall and stick to the train. There are a few actions needed like mending the tracks or raising gates but on the whole it is fairly boring.
Build with Letters: lots to look at on this game, but not much to do. Pressing the fish produces bubbles you can pop and you can build with the Duplo blocks you find. Both this game and the barnyard one are very good for suggesting ideas your child can copy with their own Duplo blocks.
Look out for the music note! You press this and can record your own sounds to be played (needs access to the microphone). This was the most successful part of the app for my two. Everything is navigated from the plus sign in the top right hand corner. The app music is great, with some really catchy songs. Each game can be personalised with their own special shouts and vehicle or animal noises.
This is a good app, and it’s free, but it didn’t have the longevity of some of the other pre-school apps on the market. It’s available on iOS, and needs version 3 or later. Lego Duplo James is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Toy Infinity says: it is a good app, it has a shorter shelf life than some of the other apps, but it teaches colours well, and has some lovely graphics and music. It is definitely worth a download, but in my view it is more suited to two year olds than four and over.