I think like most mum’s today my iPad has been accosted by Roo and I am unlikely to get it back any time soon! She loves apps of all sorts although we try to stay away from general gaming apps as I don’t see they offer any educational benefits to her and if she’s going to use a computer at such a young age I would like her to be learning.
One of our favourite apps recently has been Timmy Tickle which is an interactive story book on the iPad. Timmy Tickle is a charming storybook application, less of a narrative than a short collection of activities that children can participate in alongside a friendly orange octopus named Timmy. We were invited to test the iPad version of this app and there is also an iPhone version available. Timmy Tickle, the cheeky octopus comes from the app developers Nimblebean, and he is a delightful orange octopus who draws readers in by inviting them to join him in a series of games. The story is nice and simple and written in The rhyming couplets and it supports young children through game-based learning. I would say the Timmy Tickle story app is suitable for children 18 months – 4 years.
I love the fact that from the very first page the story engages children by asking them to help cheer Timmy up as he is sad by tickling him. When Roo did this I also tickled her much to her delight. The illustrations are also beautiful, and it is cute the way that Timmy moves on the screen showing off the underside of his body and his octopus suckers as he giggles and wiggles. It is almost like he comes to live on the screen.
Timmy’s favourite thing is rollerskating – which lets face it is pretty tricky as an octopus with eight legs. He needs help moving around the screen and even then, he falls over regularly. The next scene finds him washing up: be very careful not to break any plates whilst spin drying them on the end of one of his legs! Count to 8 using the coloured balloons tied to his legs; as you touch each balloon in the correct sequence, it will float. Get the sequence wrong and Timmy will blow a raspberry.
Roo’s favorite sections is when Timmy asks for help playing the xylophone. Four songs are included such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Three Blind Mice” – cleverly with the use of prompts that show children what notes to tap so at least it encourages them to try to make a tune rather than senselessly bashing away at the notes for effect. It is especially nice that children can also choose to tap these keys themselves to create their own music as well as to deviate from the song they are playing in order to add their personal touches as well.
Timmy Tickle ends nicely with Timmy’s eyes getting noticeably heavy, and children are asked to turn off the lights with a tap – a lovely way to end this fun book. The painting activities as always have had a good amount of usage with this app from Roo and she particularly liked the rainbow paint pot and creating some rather bright and vivid Timmy Tickle colour schemes!
We have enjoyed this story book together very much, and although it is more fun based than educational based there is still a good mix of basic recognition type activities and creative expression. Timmy Tickle story app for iPad is priced at £1.49 and available on the App Store.
Educational value: rhythm and rhyme; co-ordination; counting; sequencing numbers; playing simple melodies; shape and colour matching
Fun rating: 4/5
Educational rating: 3/5