Funny thing. Entertaining a 5 year old on a 24 hour journey from Seattle to Okinawa, Japan – fairly easy. Entertaining the same 5 year old for 24 minutes in a hotel room in Okinawa – nearly impossible.
Seriously, the long flights and layovers on our way here were much less painful than I had expected and prepared myself for. He was content to sleep, play games on the iPod or iPad, color, decorate our seats with Post-it notes, eat snacks, and watch movies. Not a single meltdown. No complaining about how long it was taking. He did awesome.
Fast-forward to four days later, trying to entertain the same 5 year old in a hotel while we get settled in on base. It’s been rough. He’s bored. He is sick of the small selection of toys, books, and activities we have. He is no longer enchanted with the hotel’s kids’ room. He no longer finds Japanese game shows hilarious and attention-grabbing. He is bored with a capital ‘B’.
Enter the Spider-Man Augmented Reality HD Book App. I downloaded this app for Jack yesterday and all I’ve heard since is “MOM! Can I play Spider-man on your iPad??? Pleeeeease?” Jack is a huge Spider-man fan so I knew he would like the app. I had no idea what a great boredom buster it was going to be and I am eternally grateful for that in this time of need!
Jack and I fired up the app together the first time so I could make sure he understood how it worked and to gauge the age-appropriateness of it. I have to say, it’s perfect for him. He is thoroughly enjoying listening and following along with the story. He loves learning all about Peter Parker’s transformation into Spidey. He also loves playing the mini-games, especially the one where spiders crawl on your face and you have to squish them.
The app is great for a kid like Jack. He desperately wants to learn to read, but doesn’t have the patience yet to sit with us and sound out words. This book allows him to read along while the story is told and turn the page when he’s ready. He is picking out sight words on each page and I think it’s helping to encourage him to sound out words he doesn’t know.
I’m really impressed by the graphics and sounds on the game. The graphics are crisp and clear, and I love that the mini-games use the reverse camera on the iPad to allow Jack to be a part of the mini-games. Even Nate, who is almost 3, gets in on the action and listens to the story and tries his best to play the games.
Overall, it’s a great app and I think it’s well priced at $4.99. It is rated for ages 4 and up. I think the age rating is alright, but I would recommend it more for slightly older kids. Jack is 5 and does great with it. I don’t think he would have been able to play it as well a year ago.
You can learn more about the app here.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Kelly received this app from Disney Publishing free of charge to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.