Vodafone Launches Free App For Young Dads
Vodafone and the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, today launched a free brain development game for Dads to play with their older babies and young children.
The “Peekaboo” app is being released as a Father’s Day gift from Vodafone, Ministry of Social Development and Plunket, and is free to download from both Apple and Android platforms.
The app is the brainchild of Wellington Dad and former Vodafone Foundation World of Difference recipient, Josh Briggs.
“It’s easy for new Dads to find parenting and being responsible for a child’s development intimidating. When parenting involves technology you feel more confident though – it’s something you’re comfortable with,” says Josh.
“My 2 year old Ellie enjoyed playing Peekaboo with me and quickly started initiating the game herself with people she was familiar with – that’s how the idea for the Peekaboo app was born.
“I’m hoping Peekaboo will give new Dads and all parents the confidence they need to play with their babies or young children and forge positive relationships.”
The Peekaboo game works with the device photo library to integrate familiar faces of family members and friends into a series of New Zealand scenes. The parent helps the child to find each face hiding by tapping them so they appear.
Josh teamed up with the Vodafone Foundation who co-funded the development of the app alongside “SKIP”, the Ministry’s parenting initiative, and Plunket.
Chairman of the Vodafone Foundation Antony Welton says he’s thrilled to help bring the Peekaboo app to life in time to celebrate the role dads play in a baby’s life.
“We’re delighted to support the Peekaboo app for Father’s Day and beyond. It’s an innovative game that uses modern technology to connect father and baby in a simple and interactive way.”
Input was sought from brain development expert Pascal Saker (Brain Clinic) who confirmed that a Peekaboo type app could help build a baby’s ability to recognise familiar faces and increase their understanding of “object permanence” (the idea that things still exist even when they can’t be seen).
“The research confirms that this type of game can be used with babies from nine months upwards. As well as promoting brain development, the app is a good way of supporting positive interaction between fathers and their children from an early age” adds Welton.
In 2009, Josh was selected as a Vodafone World of Difference recipient. He spent his World of Difference year developing youth initiatives for Evolve, a health service for youth in Wellington.
The Peekaboo app was built by Wellington technology company, Rabid and features artwork from award-winning NZ illustrator, Ali Teo.