The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case is the newest must-have multipurpose gadget for both children and parents. It protects mom or dad’s iPhone (or iPod Touch) from the wrath of babyzilla– slobber, throwing, banging, biting and the like. Not to mention “baby dialing” and the dreaded pushing of the home button.
I let my kids use my phone every so often. Kudos to you if you haven’t caved yet. My kids each have a folder with pre-approved, learning-based games that they can play although I usually save my phone for last-ditch effort attempts while we are out and about, at a restaurant, while my toddler is in the stroller at the grocery store
dangerously close to naptime, or when my 9-year-old has earned some special play time.
Because my older two are beyond the stage of throwing the phone, drooling, and bashing things on the ground, I tested the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case on my toddler… he’s 21 months old and I swear he was Bam Bam in a previous life
or maybe a mad scientist. I really want to love the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case but I have two minor issues with it. The first issue is that you have to change your default settings, turn the device on, and turn your App of choice on before you place it in the Apptivity Case. The second issue I have is that you have to remove your device from the Apptivity Case to change the App or to turn off your device.
I downloaded the free Fisher-Price Let’s Count App, placed my iPhone in the Apptivity Case and gave it to my toddler. He loved the Let’s Count App and it didn’t go to sleep or turn off if he didn’t touch the screen. He got bored with it after a few minutes and wanted to move on to another App. Because you have to remove the device to change screens, I had to take the Apptivity Case away from him, which caused a huge meltdown. I grabbed a butter knife, removed the back of the Apptivity Case, removed my phone, changed the App, placed it back in the Apptivity Case, secured the back dial with the butter knife and handed it to my pissed off toddler… who then threw it across the room. At least I got to see first hand that it actually does protect the phone extremely well. On a tile floor.
The other problem I have (and it’s directly related to the fact that you have to turn on your device before placing it in the Apptivity Case) is, unless you only use Fisher-Price’s Apps (because the Fisher-Price Apps don’t go to sleep after being inactive) you have to change the settings on your device to “never” Auto-Lock. By setting your device to never Auto-Lock, you allow the selected App to run constantly instead of the device going to sleep if your child doesn’t touch the screen. This setting drains your battery oh so quickly. And because the Apptivity Case fully encases your device, you can’t charge it, adjust the volume or use headphones without removing it from the case.
So while I really like the Fisher-Price Apptivity Case, I wish they would somehow make the home button accessible to parents but not to children… instead of a fixed piece of plastic over the home button like it currently has. Maybe it’s just my kids but as much as I loathe my toddler pushing the home button on my iPhone, I also need to access it. Or maybe you should start out with the Apptivity Case when you decide it’s time to allow your child to play Apps on your iPod Touch or iPhone. My kids already knew that they could flip back and forth from App to App quickly and easily prior to the Apptivity Case entering the scene so I consider that a disadvantage… for me.
Oh and one more thing… the Apptivity Case is NOT waterproof.
So that’s why I don’t love it (I really do hope they improve or change it or maybe offer another version). BUT there are many features that I do like very much. Like I mentioned before, it met face-to-face with the tile floor by the arm of a toddler/wanna be pro baseball player. It survived– the case and my phone. The visual and tactile design is great! My toddler loves the shape, different textures (both by mouth and touch), the fact that he can grip it like a steering wheel, and the large mirror on the back. The thin plastic cover that protects the touch pad of the device is thin enough that you can easily interact but covers it enough so that drool (or whatever else) doesn’t attack it. The volume/sound is really good, too. The volume level is ever so slightly lower than it would be without the Apptivity Case so there’s no need to crank up the volume on your device before using with the Apptivity Case.
To insert your device:
- Use a butter knife or quarter to twist the red dial on the reverse side
- Remove any case/cover that you currently have on your device (only a bare device will fit in the Apptivity Case)
- Turn your device on, pick the App you want to use and place the device in the Apptivity Case
- Angle and push the back part of the case down while locking the red dial at the same time
Durable case is compatible with:
iPhone®, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
iPod touch® 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation
Develop & Learn
Activities to explore
• Help baby practice eye-hand coordination
Textured handles & rattle beads
• Easy for baby to grasp, enhancing fine motor skills
• Babies love looking at themselves—a shiny mirror encourages self-discovery!
The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case is for children 6 months and up and retails for $15.00 It is currently available online but it will be available in retail stores next month.
Disclosure: Fisher-Price didn’t ask or pay me to write a review of the Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case. All words and opinions are my own.