Since we left the UK, one of the few things that DorkySon has mentioned missing is CBeebies. There is an Australian children’s channel, and a few of the programmes are the same, but not enough for his liking. So we’ve been finding as many ways as we can to give him little familiar snippets of his favourite shows – playing games on the CBeebies website, listening to theme tunes online, and watching one or two videos on YouTube.
I was obviously thrilled then when we given the opportunity to review the Tilly and Friends iPad app. While Tilly wasn’t one of DorkySon’s *very* favourite shows, it was definitely in the Top Ten, and he also loved the original books by Polly Dunbar.
If you’re familiar with Tilly and Friends, you’ll know that both the books and the TV show are very sweet and gentle, and the app reflects that. The illustrations and accompanying sounds and music are super cute – perhaps a little too cute for my now nearly-five-year old boy, who is getting more rough and tumble by the day. He played with the app a lot for the first day or two, but then hasn’t returned to it since. I am very sure that has a lot more to do with how much DorkySon has grown up in the last six months, rather than the quality of the app. If it doesn’t involve vehicles or sea creatures, it’s not likely to win him over.
The Tilly and Friends App is aimed at preschoolers and from peering over his shoulder as he played with it I’d say that all the games are simple enough for a 3 or 4 year old to play alone, although there are plenty of helpful prompts throughout if they’re needed. I’m also really pleased to see that there are no in-app purchases, so no nasty surprises on your credit card bill.
The app is great value – for £2.99 you get 32 different mini games, each of which has three difficulty levels for your child to progress through. Some are educational, dealing with letters and numbers, while others are more action based; sorting shapes, or looking for Tilly.
Even though my son didn’t fall in love with this app, I really did, and if you have a younger preschooler or a big Tilly fan, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Disclosure: we received a code for a free download of the Tilly and Friends app in order to write this review. I received no other payment, and all opinions are my own.