When our first iPod Touch entered our house a couple of years ago, I never would have imagined how much fun my kids would have playing and learning from the apps available. Eventually we added the newest iPod Touch and now we have one for each of our boys. The one thing we haven’t purchased were any outside toys that work with our iOS devices. AppStart Learning has created iLearn ‘N’ Play and it’s a great combination!
All three have been designed for ages 3 and up and plays an integral role in the function of apps through external buttons, knobs or stylus.
- Robbi the Robot ($39.99): This adorable iLearn ‘N’ Play learning companion, will provide children with hours of fun learning. Slip an iPhone or iPod into Robbi’s faceplate and he comes alive. The intelligent learning apps use Bluetooth technology to connect the iPod/iPhone to the unit. The apps ask children to use the 10 chunky numbers in Robbi’s tummy…
- Adventure Explorer ($39.99): Connect your iPad, iPad mini, iPhone or iPod to this amazing console, turn on the ignition key and “drive” into a fun learning adventure. Each Adventure Explorer has a working on/off ignition switch, a steering wheel, shifter, accelerator, forward/reverse control that integrates with iLearn ‘N’ Play apps.
- Learning Tablet ($19.99): Slip your iPad into this stylish and durable frame; grab the attached, child-friendly stylus and power up for some fun learning. Once safely inserted into the Learning Tablet, your iPad becomes a part of this amazing new, early educational concept. Not only is the Learning Tablet cool but also it keeps your iPad safe!
We received the Robbi learning companion to get a feel for how the apps and toys integrate. My five year old Warren immediately fell in love with Robbi, saying he was his very favorite robot. I have to say that Robbi has a very sweet, electronic voice that is very endearing. (I encourage you to check out his video on the product page!) After receiving him, he wanted to bring him to preschool to share with his friends and show him off.
Warren really likes to play with the NumberBots App and it is a great way to reinforce what he is learning in school. The games do keep him entertained, and I think that it really helps to have the extra connection he feels with Robbi himself. He loves to play with him and really does think of Robbi as his friend! Since Warren is so used to working with the touchscreen, I do have to remind him he can use the buttons on Robbi’s belly instead.
One minor annoyance is that in order to lock the iPod (or iPhone) into the Robbi toy, the device can’t be enclosed within a protective case. There simply isn’t enough room. I do find this a bit frustrating, simply because the protective cases are something we don’t typically remove. It would be so much easier if there was more clearance to allow for that in the toy.
I also want to mention that the product packaging is a bit unclear about what the Robbi will work with. While it states it works with all iPhone and iPod Touch devices, keep in mind that it needs to be 3rd generation (iOS 4.3+) or higher. Warren has the 2nd generation iPod Touch that unfortunately won’t work this toy and therefore he has to use his older brothers device. This is very clear on the Appstart website and for the app on iTunes, just not on the packaging itself or at Target.com.
I do look forward to more apps being offer to extend the learning and use of Robbi, but given my son’s love of this robot I am happy overall with the toy.
You can find Robbi and the other two featured toys at your Target locations nationwide! I found them in the toy aisle of my local store earlier this week so be sure to look for them.
I have the choice of any one of the iLearn ‘N’ Play toys for one of my lucky readers!
Disclosure: I received a sample for the purpose of this post however all thoughts remain 100% my own.