We all adore the classic Peakaboo Barn app by Night and Day. Peakaboo Barn was launched in 2008 and has been in the top 25 kids apps ever since. Have you tried the similar Peakaboo Presents app? Peakaboo Presents is a holiday-themed app with a bouncing wrapped present with favorite children's toys are ready to pop out and play! Peakaboo Presents the bright red present bounces up and down, creating knocking sounds along with a sound associated with the toy inside. Young students tap anywhere on the screen to open the present. The brightly colored toy inside moves, recreates the toy's sound, and a child's voice announces the toy. Tap any on the screen to close the present.
Accessibility of Game Play
This mainstream app for toddlers and beyond is designed with high contrast colors and uncluttered backgrounds. Students with low vision enjoy the images. Vision is not required to enjoy the app! The game is predictable and repetitive - tap anywhere on the screen to open or close the wrapped present. With Peakaboo Barn, young children quickly identify each animal's by it's associated sound. (Example: Moo equals the cow.) With Peakaboo Presents, the associated sounds may not be as obvious as a cow mooing, requiring students to listen carefully and then associate each sound with a specific toy. Some sounds are easy to identify (choo-choo and whistle for the train), some sounds are not as obvious but are easy to understand (the squeak sound of the rubber duck) or a random sound ("ha" of the teddy bear).
Peakaboo Presents has a settings Loop option that enables the student to play the game over and over, allowing the student to have multiple opportunities to hear each sound without the game ending. Or, choose the Regular Play Mode to cycle through all the presents one time with a special closing at the end of the game.
[Image Description: First is the main Peakaboo Presents screen with a large bright red wrapped present in the center of the screen with a Christmas tree in the background. The second image is opened box with a present: a toy train.]
Peakaboo Presents was designed to be played using a one-finger tap on the screen to open and close the wrapped present. This is a wonderful app for young students with visual impairments to practice a 1-finger tap. As always, set the student up for success! Encourage the student to use a very gentle touch - a "tickle tap". Also encourage the student to hover his hand/finger just above the iPad screen. Do not swoop down to touch the screen! '
Note: Many young students with low vision have lower field loss and/or see the iPad screen best when the iPad is propped up. Use a slant board or other means to hold the iPad at angle and make sure that the iPad is stable! Many Bluetooth clamshell-type keyboards will hold the iPad at the desired angle, but when the student taps the screen, the iPad will bounce. If the iPad is stable, students are more successful with their gestures.
For many young students who are visually impaired, it can be challenging to isolate the index finger to make a 1-finger tap (instead of a multi-finger tap). Most young students start interacting with an iPad using all their fingers - the fingers are extended and touching. Making a fist and extending just the index finger can be tough! The younger students often have success with separating their extended fingers with the index finger slightly lower than the rest. The lower index finger is used to tap the screen. At this stage, the goal is for the student to independently and appropriately interact with the app - success is more important than the actual finger positioning.
In the video below, this preschooler is using Peakaboo Barn (sister app to Peakaboo Presents) to learn and practice 1-finger tap. Notice that the iPad is stable on a slant board and how the visually impaired student is looking at the iPad screen from a close distance. He starts with multiple fingers tapping the screen multiple times and at the end of the clip he is figuring out how to spread his fingers and is creating a 1-finger single tap. He is using a gentle tap and his hand remains close to the iPad when making his gestures. He is actively engaged and knows how to interact with the app; he only receives gentle prompts on using on how to create the gesture.
Peakaboo Presents can also be used by students who are learning VoiceOver gestures. Unfortunately, the initial Peakaboo Presents screen is not accessible with VoiceOver - the Play button cannot be activated with VoiceOver on. With VoiceOver off, press the large Play Button, which is located on the right side towards the bottom of the screen. Once the game is playing, turn on VoiceOver. Now, a 1-finger double tap anywhere on the screen will open or close the present. The 1-finger double tap is a more challenging gesture than the 1-finger tap; it is recommended to teach the 1-finger single tap first. Peakaboo Presents is a fun way to provide opportunities for the student to practice/learn the 1-finger double tap gesture.
Learn more about teaching 1-finger gestures here.
App Store Links
Peakaboo Pack in the App Store (includes Peakaboo Barn, Peakaboo Presents, Peakaboo Wild, Peakaboo Forest, and Peakaboo Fridge - at a discounted price!)