iPhone: Ultimate Kid’s Toy?

Is that a phone or a trumpet?

Is that a phone or a trumpet?

No, she’s not trying to eat the phone. And she’s not playing Ocarina.

It’s an awesome game from those whizzes at IDEO called “Balloonimals”. Outstanding child entertainment for the princely sum of $1.99 (funny how all the free apps on the App Store cause you to think twice about spending $2) The pics tell the story – choose a balloon color, blow up the balloon till it dings, shake (with all the squeaky rubber sound effects of an actual balloon being bent into shapes) and voilà an animal (t-rex, crab, unicorn, dog, snake, fish, kangaroo and baby joey) Tap the animal and it surprises with movement – feet stomping, claw clacking, you get the idea. The pièce de résistance is you can blow up the animals using a bike pump symbol until they pop. Holland plays with this for hours and the laughter and expressions on her face are priceless.

Ideo's beautifully executed ballonimals game

Ideo's beautifully executed balloonimals game

There are a wide range of great learning apps for kids – learning words, shapes and numbers. Couple this with a few movies, TV shows and games and you’ve got a brilliant child minding device in a very tiny package. It’d be nice if you could selectively disable some features like email and the phone when you give it to them, but you should be paying attention, right 😉

This has really cemented the learning for me that the apps are really the killer app for the iPhone. It’s a great phone on an ok network. It’s a phenomenal piece of intuitive design and convergence that has transformed the smart phone market. But the endless creativity of the apps is what blows your mind.


4 thoughts on “iPhone: Ultimate Kid’s Toy?

  1. The more I hear about the iPhone apps, the more I worry I will break down, give up my precious Bberry and convert into one of those smug iPhone owners (akin to those smug Prius drivers….)

  2. Pingback: A little positive psychology to be thankful for « rich work life

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