With this post we welcome our latest writer to the website, Jen Watkiss. You can read more about her in our Authors page.
I am a firm believer that life is better with gadgets. There was no question that my kid would end up either using our devices, or having some of his own.
So I was quite excited to see the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Case on one of my exploratory cruises through the toy store. I love the idea of a case that’s interesting and interactive for kids, while keeping those delicate iDevices safe.
The round case is rubber-lined for shock-absorption, and holds my iPhone 4 and 3rd Gen iPod Touch equally well. With the big mirror on the back, and the rattly rings on each side, it’s definitely attractive to babies. The handles are also great to loop a tie through so you can attach the case to your pushchair in case your little one is prone to dropping or tossing their toys aside while on the move.
Our Apptivity™ case has been dropped, bashed around, chewed, and spilled on. My devices have never suffered. I bought our case when the kiddo was about 6 months old, and considering he’s just turned two, it’s held up remarkably well!
It is rated for 6 months+, but I have seen another parent place it at one end of a cot with an infant, and use it to play white noise or lullabies while they nap.
I also like the apps Fisher Price has published to go along with the case. Big points to them for making a huge collection of apps free, and available to everyone without having to purchase the case. (My kid happens to like the “Let’s Count Animals!” app best.)
There are only a couple minor annoyances I have about the case:
1. It’s HEAVY. Especially with the device inside. The heavy-duty plastic and rubber are what keeps it so sturdy and ensure it protects so well, but it’s more substantial than I had initially expected. This meant that my kid couldn’t actually hold it up by the handles while he was quite small, and it’s a big weight in my handbag if we’re out sans pushchair.
2. The latch is fussy. To take your iPhone/Pod in and out, and access the home and/or sleep & volume buttons (depending on how you’ve oriented it), you need a “key.” You need to turn a big lock on the back by putting something like a coin in the slot. I’ve used a coin, screwdriver, guitar pick, and key ring bottle opener among other things. Again, it’s a very secure latch (protection is key) that sits flush in the case, keeping it safe for baby and strong for your iPhone, but I don’t love having to scramble for a “thing” to exit or switch apps, change the volume, or turn off the iPad so the battery doesn’t die, while chasing a toddler who’s moved onto the next “thing” (or to turn it on again when he decides he needs to play the counting game NOW).
But as I said; minor things. I wish I’d known about them before buying the case, so I could adjust my thinking about how we’d use it best, but I absolutely still would’ve purchased it.
Considering how fickle kids can be, and how hard they are on toys, the fact that this one has been a key part of our collection for 18 months, and it’s still going strong, is a testament to its greatness. There’s also an iPad case available, and I’m hoping a case for the iPad Mini isn’t far behind!