This post is sponsored by Dumb Ways JR + The Motherhood.
Preschool gamers are a thing. My four year old started gaming when he was a toddler. He even beat a game once. Yep, times done changed. Gone are the simpler days of playing hide and seek. The only time my boy seeks me out is to refill his sippy cup or to type in the password so he can download more apps. I can’t wait till he can type in the password himself. Since he is still a kid, I limit what types of games he can play. It has to fall under my criteria: fun + educational. If he’s not learning something, I won’t even bother. 100% of my day is saying no to new apps or other in-game purchases to which he counters WHY.
And then there are the rare days where I find a cute game like Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast that even I want to play. Those days are Christmas for my little one. Boffo (the younger version of one of the characters in the original Dumb Ways to Die video) is hungry and your kid gets to play his personal chef. The fun factor here is making an awesome breakfast by chopping and grating ingredients, adding sloppy items like eggs and milk, stirring, adding seasonings and serving to Boffo. Kitchen safety is something I’ve always taught my sons. I am a huge fan of engaging kids in experimentation through open-ended play.
Omie is in love with the games and now wants it on all our devices. I said no and he asked why. He’s been telling me all the food he’s cooking and feeding to Boffo.
Learned behaviors start young so Dumb Ways JR aims to introduce safety messages in an educational, age-appropriate way for a new and younger audience – 3- to 7-year-olds.
Four key elements have guided the design of the Dumb Ways JR apps:
- Child-centered design – create or explore different outcomes on different uses of app, “Own” their play, enhance playful explorations and problem solving, role-play
- Multi-sensory and multi-modal elements – appeals to a range of senses, allowing for gesture, audio, images and animations
- Challenge – appropriate level of challenge so children develop a sense of mastery, create their own narratives and games using the provided elements and perform constructing and deconstructing tasks
- Humor – aims to appeal to their sense of humor (both anticipated and unexpected) with engaging characters
In Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Train Set, players can select from two modes of play: Drive or Build. The Drive design encourages children to create their own narratives as they assist passengers to board and exit the train as well as select train speed and more points to alter the route. In Build mode, the children are the makers – designing the track, adding houses, trees and animals to their scene. And after, players can drive the train through it!