iPads and iPhones have practically made tangible board games and toys redundant, and almost unnecessary. However, kids do like tactile stimulation and it is a very important part of their development to be stimulated tactually.
When they play games that they can hold, touch, feel and just pick and drop, their motor and mental skills develop significantly. Yoomi Duo, which was recently announced is an amazing device that allows kids to use the iPad in a tactual manner and also play games that would stimulate them tactually.
The Duo is a small plastic gadget that should be kept on the iPad, and the iPad itself would act like a board that is ‘intelligent’. The Duo has a container for little plastic tokens and a rotating lid on the top. The players would have to put tokens inside the window, and try to get rid of all their tokens. A tiny camera on the underside of the Duo would communicate with the iPad and provide an interface on the iPad screen to see the scores, etc.
When you purchase the Duo, you would get the Yoomi game for free, and that can be downloaded from the iTunes store. 6 kids could play the game and one of them would have to make a choice between “Bath or Shower, Snakes or Clowns, Comb a lion’s mane or Brush a hippo’s teeth” that would be flashed on the screen. The kids would then try to get rid of their tokens through the window on the top of the Duo. It would be a great way to introduce young kids to various colours, sizes and also fine motor skills. There are also other games that could be purchased for a small amount, and played on the Duo.
While people many argue that these games do not really require a device and can be played on the iPad itself directly, the idea is to introduce children to electronic gadgets, and also help them with tactile stimulation to improve fine motor skills.
Reviewers have written that the toy is gimmicky, but I feel it is a great way to build bridges between touchscreen interfaces, and tactile games. You could also take a look at 19 iPad, Android and iPhone apps that we had written about. iPad 2 Angry Birds Decals rock pretty much too.