Pebli Town is a new pre-school toy from Toys Alive, combining a board and physical play pieces with digital games on your tablet. My younger boys (ages 4 and 5) were excited by this toy straight away and have loved playing it. I am really happy with how well it engages them, and how different this toy is from the usual iPad games.
The Pebli Town box contains the fold out board (requires 2x AA batteries) and cardboard insert, 4 Pebli Town character figures, and 4 pieces of scenery to attach to the board to make up the four locations for play. It also comes with an tablet stand so that children can see the tablet clearly without needing to hold it, leaving hands free for play with the physical toy pieces. You also need to download the free Pebli Town app to use with the toys.
Each of the characters is quite chunky and sturdy, making them easy for the children to handle and each one is easily recognisable as a different profession: fireman, chef, painter and nurse.
To set up the toy, all you need to do is make sure that you have your blue tooth switched on in your device and then press the big blue button. Our tablet connected very quickly, and then the game guides your child through placing each of the pieces on the board to make sure everything is set up, before introducing the four game mode options.
Pebli Town includes four different modes:
• Story mode – Educational stories that allow children to discover new and exciting adventures by choosing the path the characters take, there are 4 interactive stories with 22 alternative endings.
• Game mode – Children can enjoy hours of engaging game play and test their problem solving and comprehension skills, 4 different games with 25 levels each.
• Create mode – Children can choose their favourite characters, record their own voice, add special effects and direct stories. Then watch their creations back in the Pebli cinema. Unlimited opportunity to create stories.
• Video mode – Access 200 pre-approved child friendly educational and entertaining videos, each relating to a Pebli Town character.
My boys enjoyed all of these modes, particularly the games. The great thing about the games, and all of the activities is that the children don’t need to handle the tablet at all, they are activated by moving the toys but they will see the results on the screen, as you can see below the character placed on the board shows up on the screen and this is the case throughout the games.
Pebli Town is a really fun and innovative product. If you’re looking for something educational for your child to use with a tablet, I would definitely recommend this. It is of course more expensive than simply buying a few children’s apps but it really offers so much more, and kept my kids attention for much longer. I also find it more social, for 2 or 3 of them to play together and talk about what they are doing rather than having one child playing alone with an app, looking straight into the screen.
Pebli Town sells for RRP 59.99 – See it on Amazon here.
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