After whacking the ball out of the park with their incredible Playtime app that has been downloaded more than 3 million times and undoubtedly saved a few marriages and of course sanity of countless parents, the good folks at BBC have today, launched a new CBeebies app with six of the character lines from the popular channel for pre-schoolers.
CBeebies Storytime is slickly designed and contains six stories featuring the ever popular Something Special, Charlie and Lola, Old Jack’s Boat, Octonauts, Grandpa in my Pocket and Show Me, Show Me. A virtual book opens up with the first story and you turn pages to go through the rest of them.
With the app, the designers have gone a few steps ahead of competition and made it interactive so children can change the wallpaper in Lola’s bedroom, sound the alert in the Octonauts submarine and search for Mr Tumble by tapping on his bow-tie.
Three year olds usually find it difficult to concentrate unless it is interactive and I think this is what works very much in favour of this app and makes it stand head and shoulders above the books available on the IBooks store.
My 3-year-old son was initially not sure of what to expect but it took him just three virtual pages –turns to realise that he could make objects move around and (more importantly) to listen to instructions carefully.
I loved how there are questions about the stories at the end of each one of them, forcing children to think and pick the right answers and was reassuring to me, as the reader, that his mind hadn’t drifted off again to dinosaurs, diggers and football.
‘An educational consultant helped us out with the questions at the end to make the experience more engaging,’ said Lizzie Leadbeater, Senior Content Producer, BBC when we popped over for a demo. ‘You will find the Something Special story a little different from the rest because it has been specially created for children with special needs,’ she added.
There is also a section for grown-ups with tips and tricks on getting children to read more, which I think will be loved by parents, especially the ones I spoke with at my son’s nursery as well as the fact that it is free. The only thing that we found disappointing was that there are just 6 stories, although we have been promised there are more on the way!