Handing over any electronic device to a two-year old is a big risk. Wrap an app in a stuffed animal, however, and you’ve just upped the cuteness factor and decreased the chance of breaking the screen. Enter Ubooly: an interactive toy that uses your smart phone or tablet to tells stories, play games, and encourage creative play.
After an adult downloads the free Ubooly app, kids simply unzip the stuffed toy and place the electronic device inside. The app responds to a user’s voice, so children can easily select what they’d like to do.
While Ubooly lacks the servos of Ferbee Boom, it does make use of the sensors in your tablet or smartphone. So, giving an Ubooly a shake or tossing one in the air will elicit a response. Ubooly also offers fresh content each month via free downloads. Additional apps, exploring subjects such as math and the human body, can also be purchased.
The company that makes Ubooly encourages customers to use an old iPhone or Android device, which is probably a good idea. While your phone will likely survive the playdate, you might not be able to get it back from your child without a fight.
Ubooly is compatible with iPhone 3Gs and up, iPod touch and Android 4.0 and up. A small Ubooly — intended for mobile devices — costs $29.99. The jumbo size, which can be used with tablets, is $59.99.