I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of my demo copy of Baby’s Musical Hands, a new app from Streaming Colour. I downloaded it and opened the app to check it out before putting it to the real test: Sawyer, age 1.
They don’t get much more simple than this — 15 colored boxes (three gradient rows of red, yellow and blue) that play a different sound when tapped. The reds are percussion sounds: Cymbals, drums and cowbell. The yellows and blues are piano and guitar, respectively. Tapping any square also provides a small fireworks-like animation.
There are no menu buttons and no in-app purchases to make. You start and stop the app by pressing the home button. It’s that simple. I’ve turned my $600 iPad into a $600 baby toy. My wife’s face likely mimicked mine as I placed the iPad in front of Sawyer. You know that look, the There’s no way my extremely gifted and advanced-beyond-his-year baby is going to go for this look.
Boy, was I wrong.
He. Went. To. Town!
He would finger-tap, tap, tap. And then he would palm-smack, smack, smack. After every short burst of noise and animation, he’d look at me or my wife with the biggest grin before turning his attention back to the app. With apologies to Dr. Seuss:
He played it in his pen, and he played it in the car.
He played it on my lap, like a little rock star.
My wife hit it on the head when she said the app’s only downside is the obvious ability to induce headaches in parents. You can always take batteries out of noise toys (we all know what those are, right dads?) and the kids can still typically play. You can’t really do much with this app if the volume is turned down.
Not that it matters. It’s all about Sawyer, and he definitely seems to be taken by Baby’s Musical Hands. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact I typically put the iPad away when he sits on my lap, or the fact my 4-year-old son hides it when Sawyer crawls over. The iPad is definitely on Sawyer’s radar screen, and he’s enjoying holding and touching this magical device (To use Steve Jobs’ description.).
I figured Sawyer would grow tired of it, but he hasn’t. Any time I put the iPad in front of him, he’s absorbed for at least two or three minutes, and sometimes five or even 10. It’s great for holding a baby’s attention just long enough to catch the current inning on TV or burn some time before the food is delivered.
At 99 cents, this is among the few apps on my iPad that has easily paid for itself and then some. The only downside is that I can’t really leave the iPad with Sawyer. This is one app where you’ll need to watch over your much larger investment for drops, spills, drool and other hazards.
Sawyer gives it a big Veh! Meh! Ba! That’s an A+ in baby-speak.
Photos: Streaming Colour