Total non-guilty admission: We love technology and think apps can be a REALLY good thing for children.
While bedtime is a time that we genuinely treasure – full of books, made-up stories, quiet songs and last minutes cuddles before The Duchess drifts off – we also sometimes need a step between the chaos of the day and that quiet period.
Nighty Night is an interactive bedtime app where the user puts each of the farmyard animals to sleep by switching off the light in their room.
Illustrated by Oscar-nominated Heidi Wittlinger and narrated by Scottish actor, Alistair Findlay, Nighty Night is stunningly done. His beautifully soporific voice coupled with the sound of crickets and that instrument of glory, the glockenspiel, is enough to send me off to sleep. A free version is available on Android, where your little one can put 6 animals to bed, or there is a fuller in-app purchase option (£1.99) for 13 animals. On iOS you can purchase Nighty Night for £1.99 for all 13 animals.
The Best Friend introduced us to Sandra Boynton (not in the flesh) when she bought us The Going to Bed Book in hardcopy shortly after The Duchess was born. We loved it as it was, but when the app was in a Play Store sale, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have an interactive version.
We’re glad we didn’t. Produced by Loud Crow, the little touches are what make this book especially wonderful. With the lovely voice of Billy J Kramer providing narration (who I SWEAR sounds like Christopher Walken – you know, if Walken wasn’t so intense), a melodic piano tune playing in the background, and interesting interactive touches on each page – like turning on the bath tap and popping the bubbles from the tub – it is definitely one of our personal favourites and one we’d suggest to all parents of young children.
The Going to Bed Book is available on iOS for £2.49 and currently all Loud Crow apps are on sale in the Google Play store. Unfortunately, I can only see the listing in US dollars, which is priced at $2.84. This converts to £1.82.
I’d suggest both Nighty Night and The Going to Bed Book for children between the ages of 2-5 years old.
And just as proof that Billy J Kramer was the better choice for narrating The Going to Bed Book, here’s an old video of Walken on Jonathan Ross telling the story of the 3 Little Pigs.