The best part of it all was that the two apps in question were ones I was pretty sure at least two of the three girls would enjoy.
Within hours of the apps being available for download I had the iPad out and was ready to give them a whirl. I was slightly disappointed that apparently my somewhat ancient 3G iPhone was not compatible with the apps but since I was able to still try them on the iPad it was not that much of a big deal.
Now I am not exactly sure how it happened but before I knew it DDs 2 & 3 had ripped the pad out my hands and where giving both apps a go. DD2 who turned 5 in June had no problems quickly working out how to squeeze the cream out of the bottle and then rubbing it in. Within ten minutes she had successfully worked out both apps and was handing the pad over so DD3 (20 months) could have a turn.
According to DD2 her favourite of the two was the Say Cheese camera app. She just loves taking photos and the fact that she could then decorate said photos is even more appealing
There are over ten different frames to choose from, with all the Cuddletown favourites to be found in a variety of settings. For the super creative parent you could take a photo of your cherub with a Christmas themed border (there are two to choose from) and then send as a message to your nearest and dearest.
Alternatively photos can also be selected from the existing camera roll. This was explained to me by DD2 as I questioned how the photos above were done. Needless to say it is a very user friendly app and super appealing to it's target market of 2-5 year olds. Even though DD3 is still not two she was also able to work it out, though she did need a little assistance at times.
For me I loved that there were so many choices of frames and stickers to use. Plus it is possible to adjust the size of the stickers. Although I didn't like the way once the sticker was down it could not actually be moved again. Being a slight perfectionist at times I would have liked to be able to have a few goes at getting hats right on the head and so forth. (I should possibly say that it was perhaps my inaptitude here as unlike the children I at times struggle with these new fandangled technologies at times)
The other thing that I really loved was the way that photos were automatically saved to the camera roll photos so you don't miss a single shot of your child's awesomeness.
The second app was called Beach Fun The main idea behind this app is to encourage children to slip, slop, slap in the summer fun. Children get to squirt suncream over the Bananas faces. When I say squirt I actually mean lather. It feels like the whole bottle of cream is used before the Bananas feel they have enough. The squirting sound which comes as with the end of the bottle provided endless giggles. Once the squirting of the cream is complete it then needs to be rubbed in for which the Bananas thank you for. Next it is time for hats and sunglasses.
Now without being a bit of a stick in the mud I did have a slight problem here. There were two of the six hats that really offered no sun protection at all. I understand that it is just a game and they were very funky hats and would appeal to children but since one of the main ideas behind the app is to encourage sun safety I felt it was a bit of a mixed message. The same could be said about a few of the sunglasses. I am sure that is just the boring mummy part in me though.
After getting the Bananas ready for the beach it is building sandcastle time! Here you get to choose from a few different coloured and shaped buckets which you then remove and are left with a sandcastle to decorate. As you place certain objects on the castle the Bananas call out what is being placed. Great for colour and shape recognition for the little ones. The Bananas also offer great encouragement along the way.
Once the castle is complete it is demolition time. At the end of which there is a loud cheer. Again the boring mother in me came out as I am against sand castle demolition and would much rather have been able to take a photo of my work of art. Mind you at the same time I would hate my camera roll to be full of such things. (I guess there is just no pleasing some people)
All in all though from a child perspective it is great. Both the girls just loved it and this one DD3 can use all by herself without any help from anyone. So that definitely is a big plus at times.
Now here comes the tricky part. You see personally if I had of paid for these apps I would be disappointed. Not hugely disappointed but disappointed nonetheless. I really didn't want my first official review to be one where I was not able to completely rave about.
At $2.99 (Say Cheese) and $1.99 (Beach Fun) they are not exactly going to break your iTunes account but to be honest I am rather tight when it comes to iTunes purchases and I would feel a little ripped off for these purchases had they not been complimentary. As free apps they are awesome. As ones that you pay for...not so awesome. I am sort of comfortable with paying for the camera app as I can't see the kidlets tire of that one but for Beach Fun I can't help but wonder if the novelty of it all might wear off in the not to distant future.
I guess having already experienced some of the free apps that ABC has previously released (and totally loved them) I may have had too higher expectations for apps that involved money. However the children really do love them so perhaps that is all that matters.
Both apps are available to download now from iTunes. Direct links can be found here for Say Cheese and here for Beach Fun.
Now to the really fun part. The Giveaway. The awesome peeps over at ABC for Kids and Digital Parents have given me one copy of Bananas in Pyjamas "The Magic Trick" DVD to giveaway to my equally awesome readers.
So get your thinking caps on and in 25 words or less tell me what it is you love most about summer. Entries are open until Midnight December 30 2011. With the winner announced December 31 2011 after being selected by yours truly. Judges decision is final.
I can't offer extra entries for tweets but share the love and tweet away anyway.
Oh and I can't forget to mention that I am linking up with
I know two buttons for the one place might be seen by some as unnecessary
but can I remind you just how much I love buttons.
Especially super cool buttons like these, how could I possibly be expected to choose between the two?
Disclosure: I received complimentary downloads of the Bananas in Pyjamas iPhone apps and a giveaway copy of Bananas in Pyjamas "The Magic Trick" DVD courtesy of ABC for Kids via Digital Parents. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.