BBC launches CBeebies Playtime app
The BBC today launched CBeebies Playtime, a mobile app for the BBC's youngest audiences and their parents, available for free on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire devices in the UK. The app features four fun games based on some of the most-loved CBeebies shows, all designed to aid child development in a safe and secure offline environment.
CBeebies Playtime is the perfect companion for young children, allowing them to play along with favourite characters whenever and wherever they want, including the Alphablocks, Octonauts, Tree Fu Tom and Something Special's Mr Tumble. Parents can also join in the fun through the dedicated 'Grown-ups' area. Here they can record special messages for their little ones, find out about each game's learning benefits, and access useful tips to help their children get the most from the app.
Profiles can be created for up to four children, allowing them to collect CBeebies bugs as rewards for their progress, and listen to messages left by their parents. Each profile features a hot air balloon that children can personalise, which transports them into the CBeebies Playtime world where they can choose to play one of four games.
Alphablocks Word Magic
Alphablocks Word Magic helps young children develop confidence in reading and writing by learning how to spell a range of words. They simply tap on a picture of an everyday object and spell it out by choosing the right Alphablocks, in the right order. The words get progressively more difficult as the game goes on.
Octonauts Cadet Training
Help the Octonauts in a variety of missions to rescue sea creatures who've gotten themselves in a pickle. Shaking the device to remove rubble and calling out to lost Orcas are just some of the ways children can help them out. It helps develop listening skills and teamwork, as the Octonauts guide them through a series of underwater adventures, as well as finding out more about the world around them.
Something Special Paint Pop
Play along with Mr Tumble and his friends, who need some help decorating their clothes and accessories. Children can colour them in by tapping the screen to pop paint bubbles as they pass over the items. This game is suitable for all children, including those with special needs, allowing them to have fun and develop confidence.
Tree Fu Tom Chuckleberry Chase
Join Tree Fu Tom on harvest festival day after the Mushas have stolen all of the chuckleberries. Children can cast the super speed spell with Tom and help him race through Treetopolis to catch the Mushas and save the day. The game allows children to practice fine motor skills, helping to develop their movement at a crucial time of their growth.
CBeebies Playtime includes several safety features that allow parents to let their children play and explore the CBeebies world with confidence. Once downloaded onto a compatible device, the app does not require internet access and even if the device is connected to the web, passcodes prevent little fingers from straying too far. In addition, the app is completely free to download and play with no in-app payments that may add to a phone bill. The app has been designed to be as accessible as possible, allowing children of all stages of development, and those with special needs, to take part in the fun.
In addition to the CBeebies Playtime app, more content is available online through the CBeebies website and mobile website, which launched over a year ago, enabling parents or carers to access CBeebies wherever they want. Over the summer, new games will be added online to accompany new CBeebies shows, including Sarah and Duck, Tiny Tumble and in particular Tee and Mo, a new pre-school 2D-animated series of digital, interactive experiences for young children and their parents or caregivers to play together. The CBeebies radio player also offers stories, music, games, quizzes and adventures with all the channel's favourite CBeebies characters. Viewers can listen via the radio player or download podcasts to listen to on-the-go.
Joe Godwin, Director, BBC Children's, said: "Technology is firmly embedded in children's lives and has opened up opportunities to inform, educate and entertain them in new ways. The CBeebies Playtime app is a great example of this, allowing our youngest audiences to learn through play and get even closer to the characters and shows they love, safely, whenever and wherever they want. We've also introduced several innovative features that let parents share in the fun with their little ones."
Patrick Healy, Head of Product, BBC Children's, said: "We know that our audience want to interact with CBeebies on-the-go, and we're delighted to launch CBeebies Playtime on such a wide range of devices. The app has been designed to be as accessible and secure as possible, allowing all young children to get the most out of the app, whilst giving parents the assurance and level of control they need."