Polly Faber got in touch with us on Twitter to say that her two sons were enjoying our new Jack and The Beanstalk app, and kindly agreed to write a blogpost for us about her family’s experience of using the app.
My boys, now 7 and 9, have grown up with Nosy Crow apps. That’s a pretty extraordinary idea isn’t it? We’ve had an iPad for about the same amount of time that Nosy Crow has been in existence – but when that’s almost half your lifetime, it becomes pretty hard to remember a time Before Apps. Those times already exist for Bill and Eddie as a hazily remembered Dark Ages. Eventually they won’t be remembered at all.
They use the iPad, not as an alternative to books and reading, but as an alternative to other sorts of screen consumption; watching television or playing on the wii/computer. All these whether I like it or not are considered high treats or rewards at the end of a day of Doing Things Their Mother Approves Of. And when it IS screen time, it is their choice as to what device they choose and what they do on it. So there’s a bit of competition; both between entertainment devices and with what to do with that device. iPad time for instance could mean watching the BBC iPlayer or endless slightly dodgy Youtube clips (Tango ads from the 90s are a current favourite) or playing a conventional game like ‘Temple Run’ or ‘Cut the Rope’. Or it can mean (maternal fingers crossed) a story app…
This is all a long winded way of saying Nosy Crow Apps have to be good, well more than that really – they have to be BRILLIANT if they’re going to be ‘chosen’ above all the other digital goodies on offer.
Cut to Friday evening, when the boys had elected to watch telly and I was having my own laptop based screentime on Twitter and saw the news that Jack and The Beanstalk had just come out. I announced this and I think it’s an indication of how much Nosy Crow get right that both boys TURNED AWAY from the TV and demanded I download it immediately.
There was then a certain amount of competition and tussling between the three of us as to who was going to get to play with it first. Unsurprisingly the 9 year old won, but we all pitched in.
They LOVED the section where Jack walks along to market and you can make the cow moo in answer to his observations. After several minutes of the two of them back and forth cow conversing in fits of giggles I was the first to get impatient to move on.
Initially Bill, 9 found the games within the story pretty straightforward. ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ had been billed as being a ‘step up’ in complexity from other Nosy Crow apps and is being sold in the 6 to 8 category of the App store. I’d say that was spot on, for as we progressed he had to pause and think again. Having approached it all with the slightly world weary air of one playing with things slightly beneath his dignity, he became increasingly involved.
There may have been a slightly unseemly tussle between us at one stage where I tried to solve a puzzle for him and he told me (rightly) to let him do it himself.
All in all, the three of us were wrapped up in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ for something like 40 minutes. Past bedtime in fact. 40 minutes of family story sharing and game playing and problem solving. That made them happy but it also makes me happy too; screen time with a bit of heart.
Of course the real test with any app is whether having played it through once they choose it AGAIN. Three days and four more goes later I think we can say Nosy Crow have made another hit. ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ is lots of fun; Nosy Crow apps, just like my boys, keep on advancing.
Thanks for sharing your experience with Jack and the Beanstalk, Polly! You can watch the trailer for Jack and the Beanstalk below, and download it from the App Store here.