Parents with more than one kid know that managing sibling relations is about as tricky as solving a Rubik’s cube with a blindfold on. Throwdowns between (among) brothers and sisters are as regular and predictable as the evening news. Sharing consists of tugging, crying, yelling, and finally some slapping. “Playing together” is a phrase that is probably grumbled or said with some disdain by both parents and siblings.
The Toyswing storybook app tackles siblings, sharing, and clever problem-solving in one narrated and illustrated package. Niki & Jazmin are twin sisters who have more toys than they know what to do with, and after brainstorming with their mother they come up with a plan.
Throughout the clearly narrated story there are plenty of interactive surprises in the illustration. Toys bounce, swings creak back and forth on the swingset, the sun smiles as the clouds drift away. Each page also has 3 hidden stars for players to find, a wonderful new addition that came with the app’s last update. The memory game is straightforward and features pictures of the girls’ toys.
When we sat down to read this virtual storybook I think we were expecting bells and whistles. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great app for the 2-5 crowd (my kids’ demographic) to help with reading skills and start conversations about sharing with siblings. Its pared-down approach is perfect for little ones (like my own) that are attracted to loud and/or shiny things, not dissimilar to a crow.
Toyswing is one of three apps from Erik Simko that feature Niki & jazmin in Simko’s simple yet graphic aesthetic approach. There’s no 3-dimensional animation or crazy app features, but that’s okay. Overall the message gets across and players get to work on reading and memorization skills. At $1.99 this might be the cheapest lesson on sharing that you’ll ever offer.
– Clear narration helps non-readers follow along
– A ton of little interactive tidbits throughout the pages
– Memory mini-game helps players with memorization skills
– It’s not the most aesthetically advanced app but it’s great for young players
The Toyswing storybook app teaches early readers about sisters, swings, and sharing