Tuesday, 6 July 2010

IKEA launch the first iPhone app that creates parent and child interaction



As I mentioned last week, I've been getting requests to review iPhone applications but I can't help because I don't have an iPhone or an iPad to test them on. I did post the press release about Givaudan's free application iPerfumer to help you choose the perfect perfume, because it sounded such a good idea. This week, another one came that really appealed to me so I'll share the press release with you. If anyone does try it out, please leave a comment to let us know how you got on !

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IKEA LAUNCH LEKAR
The first iPhone app that creates parent and child interaction


According to research initiated by home furnishing specialist IKEA, half of all parents (52%) feel guilty that they are not spending enough time with their children and three in four (73%) admitting they would like to spend more time relaxing together. These findings form part of the IKEA Playreport, the world’s largest research project into children’s play and its effects on family life. In response to this, IKEA has developed the first iPhone app designed to encourage interaction between parents and children.

LEKAR, meaning ‘games’ in Swedish, offers parents three specially devised games, which use the iPhone as a tool to generate parent and child game play. With 42% of parents believing that their children will benefit more from playing with their siblings as opposed to educational toys, each game has been chosen for it’s interactive qualities. The first games being launched on the LEKAR app are “Bird, Fish or In Between”, “Charades” and “Musical Chairs”.

The LEKAR app, initially intended for three to seven year olds, also features a “shake-and-play” option. This allows users to shake the iPhone, which then selects games at random. IKEA will be building on the app over the summer and will be releasing more exciting games via regular updates. This will even include a function to upload game results to the Playreport facebook page, so that they can be shared with other parents and children alike.

With 40% of UK children agreeing that they would like their parents to spend more time playing with them, LEKAR is ideal game for engaging children and parents alike. The IKEA LEKAR app is free and customised for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It can be downloaded from the Apple store from Wednesday 7th July.

The LEKAR app includes:

Bird, Fish or In Between is a traditional Swedish hide-and-seek game. The first player seeks a good hiding place for the iPhone. Next the player sets audible clues and the iPhone slowly sets off sounds, which give away its whereabouts. The winner is the one who finds the iPhone and taps stop!

Charades is a classic word-guessing family game, great to play with the little ones. The first player chooses a task generated by the iPhone. That player then acts out the task whilst the other players try to guess what it is by selecting options from the menu.

Musical Chairs is a popular elimination game that is fun for all the family. Players need to start by placing one less chair than players in a circle. The leader then taps the iPhone to start the music. When it stops, players must race to find a chair and whoever doesn’t find one is out. The last player sitting wins!

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Sounds like a great way of keeping over-excited kids amused in airport departure lounges this summer to me ! It also ties in quite nicely with the campaign to "make a pledge to get playing more" that I blogged about last month (here).

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