My young daughters, much like the rest of their technologically-inclined generation, love iPhone apps. Combine that with their love for playing “mommy,” and there couldn’t be a more perfect creation than IMommy for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
This is one of those apps that my 3 year-old daughter, Lily, has not put down since we downloaded it. She was hooked from just the first scene, where you customize your baby and give him or her a name. The baby’s hair, eye and clothing colors can be chosen from a wide variety of shades, while being able to choose clothing graphics and a hair accessory option.
After playing with this screen for no less than 35 minutes, Lily finally announced that her baby was “perfect” and when I glanced over, I noticed that she decided to go with her favorite color, blue, from head-to-toe (literally). She also named her baby the name of a friend’s baby, who we’d just visited days before. We typed it in on her birth certificate and jumped into the next page of the app, where you choose which scenes to have your baby interact with.
I loved that the scenes were so true-to-life. And that each scene had a bunch of real-life “mommy” actions to take in order to keep your baby happy. The first scene Lily opened, which would soon become her favorite, was the baby-changing screen.
At first, she didn’t know how to stop her baby from crying. She tried the rattle and it didn’t work. She tried the powder and it didn’t work. Her baby was crying (which sounds so real that I thought there was an actual baby in my house) and she couldn’t stop it. I watched as she frantically did everything, until she finally looked at me with desperation and said, “Mommy, why won’t my baby stop crying?”
That’s the million dollar question, kid.
I asked Lily what she thought mommies did first when a baby had a dirty diaper and she realized that the diaper had to come off. So she dragged it off. Then, I asked her how I cleaned her own baby sister, and Lily used the wipe on her baby. From there, she picked up the order of things and powdered, diapered and gave her now-smiley and happy baby a rattle. No sooner did Lily smile, feel accomplished and say, “I did it!” did she push on the “Oops” icon to make her baby toot. Which, of course, forced her into a fit of laughter. Any time there’s an opportunity for toot sounds, a child will be made happy.
All of the other baby scenes were very much like this one– from baths and feedings to playrooms, picnics and bedtimes, each scene kept Lily busy for hours. (And kept me thinking that there were real babies in the house.) For added help, in some of the scenes, there is a small highlighted glow around the icons as they are suggested to be used in a particular order to help make your baby happy.
Simply put, Lily loves being a mommy with iMommy. She walks around the house asking for “her baby” and she enjoys showing her sisters how she navigates through the scenes. She even sometimes lets her older sister play, when she can stand to release it for more than 5 minutes. And, as a bonus, there are coloring scenes in the app, and with the new version, an animal-matching game to unlock new baby outfits. iMommy will be an app that we will keep my girls busy being mommies for a long time.
Kathy Shimmield is the creator of iMommy. Kathy developed this game with her children in mind, her two youngest were especially interested in playing ‘Mom’ and it occurred to her that such a universal game as ‘pretend’ parental play, would translate into a great app. Kathy searched the app store and was genuinely surprised to find no apps that addressed this type of imaginative play for younger children. This game is ideal for kids ages 2-10 but is suitable for any age.
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