With Tilly’s Petting Farm, we are back to the farm again. There is some regret here. I do like some parts of this app, as you will see below. I would just like to have some different venues for children’s apps besides the zoo and farm and something different for them to see than animals. How about looking at buildings, or plants or vehicles? With that said, this app does teach the children about the animals on the farm and their purpose. They learn that cheese and butter are made from milk, for instance.
There are four different scenes of the farm, some with different animals. The children are either asked to point out a certain animal, “Where is the cow?” or something about what they see, “Where do you find the eggs?” When the children tap on the right answer, they are given a positive answer. When wrong, they get several more tries with clues. The animal artwork is cute and colorful, as is the animation. I also like the fact that the children need to answer questions, which teaches listening skills as well as vocabulary. The narrator even says, “Pay attention,” before asking the question.
Overall, the app is easy for a preschooler to use. A toddler is going to need more help. It’s just a tap on the right answer. In some cases, it is difficult to see the item; the hay, or what is called “dried grass,” is way in the distance in one farm setting, for example. When learning about each animal, there is a good amount of variety in the animation and the answers. The app developers say that there are 300 sentences or questions included in the app, which provides greater variety as well.
The narrator has an easy-to-understand English accent. If you speak American English, you will find some differences in the words and the questions. For example, instead of “Where is the male goat?” the question is “Where is the man goat?” The narrator asks, “Which plant is shaped like a cigar?” This question is not cross-cultural. For several reasons, you should do this app with your child the first time around. First, there are many new words, such as “buck” and “heron.” Also, some of the questions can be tricky, such as “Where is the female goat?” It is difficult to tell if the baby goat is male or female. When it asks, “Which animal brays?” I would have liked to hear the bray. You may need to make some of these sound effects.
Tilly's was a favorite Dutch app when it was first introduced. Your children will learn some new facts that are not typically included in farm apps, such as different birds like “heron” and “crane.” It’s a good way for you to talk about some of these new words, animals and activities taking place in a farm setting.