As a parent who wants my juniors to have the best experience in playing and learning, I am constantly scouring the App Store to find the best educational apps that are suitable for them. While I prefer to let my juniors play with the iPad, I do understand that one-year-toddlers still can't hold the device properly. On the other hand, I found that these tiny hands are perfect for the iPhone.
The question is which iPhone apps are perfect for one-year-olds. As I've mentioned in one of my reviews, interactivity is always a key success factor for apps that are aimed at juniors. Apps that are not interactive would not engage their attention.
Timmy Tickle! is an interactive app for the iPhone by Harriet Pellereau that features an octopus named Timmy. Inspired by a short animation entitled Oktapodi, Harriet decided to create Timmy as the main character for her first app aimed for juniors.
For an octopus, eight is a magic number and throughout the app you will see it as a recurring theme. Timmy Tickle! features an octopus with eight arms/legs, eight fun activities, eight beautifully illustrated pages for your juniors to paint and even eight colors to paint with. If you pay attention to the page about numbers, it even features the numbers from 1 to 8.
In addition to the above activities, your juniors can also tap to tickle Timmy and make him giggle, help him skate, and smear the screen as he tries to wash some dirty mugs. One of the main features in this app is a xylophone activity page in which your juniors are guided to play the tunes of four popular nursery rhymes: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat, Three Blind Mice and Old MacDonald Had a Farm.
What I like about Timmy Tickle!
As a geek, I really appreciate Harriet's attention to details as she designed the app. The fact that Timmy Tickle! has a recurring theme only boosts my appreciation. I also notice how the painting pages feature more detailed illustrations than the ones inside the storybook.
The two pages I like most are the fruit imitation activity and costume play. Activities like these make me want to be a kid again. Finally, I like the way the app closes itself after turning all the lights out. What a perfect way to end the night, if you let your juniors play with the app before they go to bed.
Last but not least, I also appreciate the professional voiceover by Gina Beck. If you really care about the thought process that went into designing the apps that your juniors would play, I believe you would enjoy reading Harriet's notes.
How Philip and Noah use the app
Philip, my 3-year-old son, loves the xylophone. What amazed me is that he even had the idea to open an app that could play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the iPad, while he sang and played along with the xylophone on my iPhone. He also loves the painting activity.
My second son, Noah, particularly likes the first two pages of the app where he can simply tap anywhere on screen to see Timmy tickled or fall from the roller skates. Mirroring it onto my Apple TV really helps Noah to see and enjoy how anything he does to Timmy reflected on both the iPhone and the big screen.
Even though the activities that Timmy does in this app are not connected together in the storyline, they are still a collection of playful activities that resonate well with toddlers under the age of 4. The animations are well implemented, the illustrations and sound effects are top quality. I only wish the app has a soothing background music to accompany my juniors while they're painting. Overall, I think Timmy Tickle! is a solid activity app for your juniors, especially for the ones who are younger.
I would recommend you to download the Timmy Tickle! iPhone app for younger toddlers and the iPad version for the older ones. They are developed as different apps and, based on my experiment, the iPhone app would not run properly on the iPad.
App was provided for our honest review.