Pepi Bath is a charming new universal role-playing app for young children that teaches about hygiene.
This utterly cute application consists of two characters to choose from, a boy and a girl and includes four scenes to explore - specifically a laundry area, bathroom sink routines such as teeth brushing and hand washing, bath time and a toileting scenario.
There is a great deal that my son and I really enjoy about this app. Pepi Bath has a lovely visual style with bright colors and a lot of interactions, all of which my son has a lot of fun playing, with a nice, soothing yet upbeat music also included.
The laundry area allows children to remove dirty articles of clothing, adding them to a washing machine to be cleaned, as well as placing dirty sneakers or boots in the correct storage locker. Do close the door fully of the washing machine as this is needed to be able to pour the powdered soap into the detergent drawer. Then press the button to turn on the machine. When the cycle is complete, hang the wet wash on the laundry line completing this activity.
The bathroom sink area is a favorite of my son’s, as he has more fun washing the characters' hands in the sink motif more than he does in real life. Here, one can turn on the water in the sink, washing the characters' hands with provided soap, but also experiment with trying to lather with soap only (this does not work well and only a hint of dirt is removed this way) or water only - also not effective as is the case in real life. Instead, the correct method of wetting hands and using soap is needed for proper hand washing. A comb is also provided to groom these messy-headed children as well as tissues that can be used to wipe a drippy nose. A scissors is also visible that the boy or girl will show displeasure towards if the player picks it up - a nice touch.
I do wish, however, that the used tissue could be tossed in a garbage can instead of disappearing off screen, and although my son has a lot of fun brushing the teeth of these characters, he did ask me why they do not use toothpaste on their brushes - an element I would love to see added, not only as a fun interaction, but as a necessary detail for realism.
Bath time is focused on bathing the boy or girl, specifically the washing of dirty feet and hair. A sponge is included, and a tap here will trigger the presentation of funky feet that kids will delight in wiping down, as well as having fun adding shampoo to hair, creating a lather than needs to be rinsed with the overhead shower hose that one drags over the child to turn on, rinsing hair clean. An interactive rubber duck has also been included, as well as presumably colored bath oils in both green and blue that my son enjoys adding to the tub to change the color of the water.
I appreciate how here, one can turn on the hot or cold water, yet an extreme temperature either way will make the bathing child uncomfortable, as too hot will turn him red from being over-heated and too cold will give chills and chatter teeth.
My son’s favorite section by far is the toilet scene, as here highlights are given which show where to tap the child character's belly to help him pee or poop, full of realistic body sound effects that my son adores.
Although these interactions are not for the squeamish, I think this is a great area of this app especially for toddlers who are in the throes of toilet training when pooping transitions from an involuntary to a voluntary act, really appreciating how the included boy or girl must slightly bear down slightly to move his bowels, with the interactive belly press showing what muscles need to be engaged - something that can be difficult for children to understand at first when learning to use the toilet.
After the character has used the toilet, he will motion with the point of a finger that it is time to wipe his bottom, allowing a child to tear off some toilet paper and clean their character, giving parents of girls a chance to teach the idea of wiping from front to back as well if one so desires. Then the toilet paper is tossed into a trash can to dispose of.
I understand that this app and these toileting motions reflect the fact that not everyone flushes their paper down the toilet, but it would be nice if an option were available to flush the paper as this is how I want my son to deal with using the toilet in our house.
It would also be nice if the child did not remain seated when the toilet is flushed as families of girls especially understand that remaining seated while flushing is not recommended, and it would be a great if the child could be heard to say “I need to go wash my hands” the way a little voice can be heard saying “It smells bad in here,” a cue to use one of three air sprays offered.
It is interesting how although with open-ended moments, a sequence of events is included in many of these sections, such as the steps one takes to wash clothing, such as first filling the washing machine with dirty clothing, shutting the machine’s door before adding soap and then running the machine, to lathering hands with both soap and water, as well as wiping after using the potty, then flushing.
Completing these tasks in order ends the scene with a bounce of the home icon and the inclusion of clapping, but my son would have been happy to wash and re-wash dirty hands, feet and hair or brush teeth over and over again. To my son’s disappointment, one can only make the character pee and poo once during the toilet scene as well.
Even with the notes given, this is a really fun application that my son adores. I can imagine that some families might shy away from the realism expressed within the toilet area, but for us, this is the best part. I am also happy to report that after spending some time with this app, my son voluntarily put away the iPad to help all his babies and stuffed animals use the potty as well. It is always nice to see him act out what he has been playing with in an application with his toys.