What It Is
Old McDonald never could have imagined that his farm would get a techy twist. But that's just what the Little People Apptivity Barnyard does. This interactive learning playset lets you insert your iPad into the protective case for safe farmyard fun. The free app offers lots of interactive play between the farm figures and the app. Pressing buttons or opening and closing barn doors makes things happen in the app. You can harvest the crop, let baby animals out, and much more. The app itself introduces colors, numbers, and fruit and vegetable identification. The app allows your child to play with the interactive play pieces as well as the touchscreen because the play pieces all sense and interact with the app. Take Eddie on a tractor ride around the farm. Feed the animals or give them some water. Watch the water overflow, and you can draw in the mud. You can open the little barnyard door and watch the baby animals come out, or take a visit to the Farmer's Market for counting and sorting fun. In the barn, you have to take care of the animals by brushing them, feeding them, and even putting them to bed, complete with lullabies and blankets.
Why It’s Useful
Overall, the app is very entertaining. Adding the barnyard and the pieces that interact makes for a nice blend of play and technology. However, while this is a very creative way for kids to interact with an iPad, we found the actual screen for play was pretty small, and the app guided too much of the play. That sort of stomps out your kid's creative direction. Additionally, there is a big glare on the screen because of the protective cover, and the reaction time is a bit delayed in the app, making it easy to lose interest. We think kids will find it just as creative and engaging to simply play with the animals and tractor without the app. (You can also play with the app without the barnyard playset.) Still, some parents will like the tech twist and novelty of adding an iPad to a child's playset.
Who It’s For
The Little People Apptivity Barnyard is for ages 1.5–4.
What To Be Aware Of
An iPad is sold separately.