Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I am happy to announce that the perennial favorite application for role-playing preschool aged children, Pepi Bath, now has a companion app - Pepi Bath 2. I am happy to see both new tasks for children to complete as well as additional characters for young ones to interact with while keeping the delightful elements from Pepi Bath that my son and I enjoyed so much before.
Pepi Bath 2 is a charming app that teaches children about using the toilet, sink activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands, and trimming nails, and other details about personal grooming. Bath time is explored as are the moments after, when one needs to dry off and get dressed as well as areas dedicated to doing laundry and folding one’s clothing nicely.
I do so enjoy having a chance to interact with four selectable characters to explore bathroom routines, including a lighter skinned girl and a darker skinned boy - adding some much needed diversity to children’s applications. A dog and cat are also included, each of which I find cuddly and endearing and not at all creepy as animal/human hybrids can sometimes be in apps such as this. As with other Pepi Play apps, Pepi Bath 2 is bright and colorful, with a nice blend of realism that makes this a nice hygiene procedural while maintaining a sense of whimsy that all ages will enjoy.
After selecting a character, one will have a chance to choose from the six areas of this app. I must admit that the toilet area is a real favorite of my son's, as here one can trigger cheeky potty sounds that include the tinkle of urination, charmingly over-the-top farting noises, and the sounds of solid waste hitting the water. The character is also seen lightly grimacing and bearing down while using the toilet - nice moments that I think those early in toilet training will benefit from as they too may need to work a bit to move their bowels. Children then help wipe their new friend as well as flush for them. The fact that hand washing is included after going potty really makes me smile as young children do need to be reminded that this is an important part of the toilet routine. Colorful air fresheners are also included for extra interactions that kids will also find cute and fun.
Although hand washing is touched upon after using the toilet, there is a dedicated area of this app that includes most activities that one does in front of the sink such as washing hands and brushing teeth. My son really enjoys all that this area offers as a brush can be used to tame a child's hair and tissues are available to wipe a drippy nose. Use some cotton pads to wash what look like art supplies off the character's face as well as brush the subject’s teeth back to their original sparkling white color - complete with toothpaste. Trimming nails is also included and can be accomplished without a fight as each nail is cut with a small scissors, making parents wish trimming their kids' nails could be this easy.
Bath time allows children to shampoo and rinse hair as well as scrub dirty feet with a cute, textured sponge - another favorite moment of my boy’s. One can also add different colors to the water as well; the visual effect is quite nice. Later, another area of this app allows one to help dry off the character in use who is now wet from the bath. This includes the use of a towel and blow dryer. Once dry, a wardrobe of pajamas and other comfy clothing choices is available as is a hairbrush and what looks like perfume to finish up the child’s routine.
Two remaining sections split up the duties of laundry and folding as children remove soiled outfits and toss them into the washing machine, adding both a powder and liquid products to the machine and manually going through the different cycles of the wash mode with a tap. When finished, the clothing is placed in a basket and the child is dressed in a robe to cover up a bit. Children also have a chance to iron, fold, and put the wash away. My son really appreciates the dotted lines to fold on once ironed, telling me that he is happy that this app is teaching him how to fold, - a skill that I tried to explain without much luck. When complete, place folded garments into their drawers, giving children a sense of pride for competing this task.
When each of these areas is completed the child is congratulated with cheers and confetti, which I typically think takes one out of the moment a bit, but I do like seeing the use of different skin-tones of the celebratory children included, seen here as waving arms - a nice touch. There are so many gentle tips that children can learn from - from using just a bit of toilet paper at a time to the sweet “thank you’s” that the characters say after being given a helping hand and not acting like a wild animal when someone is trying to cut their nails or brush their hair.
I do wish, however, that the menu page, seen as three rows of two areas to tap, could be organized a bit differently; with the bath time and drying-off sections relegated to one line and the two laundry choices sharing the bottom row. It would also be nice to see a user be able to travel from the bath section directly into the drying-off section as nobody wants a wet child waiting around since bathing and drying are really part of the same act.
I would also prefer to see a lotion to rub on the character when drying off from the bath instead of the use of perfume - an unnecessary toiletry that most parents don’t add to their children whereas lotion or body oil is often used to combat dry skin. I also wonder how the wet clothing is being dried in preparation for being ironed, folded, and put away. I wish a dryer or drying rack or a line outside to handle wet laundry was provided.
Even with these mild notes, Pepi Bath 2 is sure to engage toddlers and those in preschool. Not all families will look at fart noises so joyfully, but we sure do. I also want to mention the lovely background music included as music is an element Pepi Play does so very well, similar to another favorite app, Pepi Tree, which is worth looking at - as are the other apps by Pepi Play.