Wednesday, September 9, 2015
And as much as parents want to encourage the developmental and cognitive skills that can be learned from apps and gadgets of all kinds, what does it mean for the days of simply going outside to play? Running, jumping, climbing, swinging, and more are just as important for our growing kids!
So where is the happy medium between physical activity and modern technology? It is found in the revolutionary outdoor climber with a one-of-a-kind twist, the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber!
Taking an extraordinary path of combining augmented reality technology with physical activity, the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber allows children to naturally be active while still utilizing devices and apps.
What other outdoor dome climber (or outdoor toy of any kind) has the ability to keep kids jumping, climbing and staying active right in the backyard while also providing them access to an interactive virtual world? None that I have ever heard of!
When the large Lil' Monkey box arrived, we couldn't wait to see it come together and get started getting some exercise while diving into the world of augmented reality!
Lil' Monkey states that their Dome Climber is "simple and easy to assemble – less than 30 min to assemble," which gave me hope that I would be able to have this structure together without too much complication.
As I began looking over the various pieces, I immediately appreciated that Lil' Monkey had them clearly labeled to lessen any confusion. The sturdy plastic tubes each snap into place securely...
...and, one by one, each piece came together (in a little less than 30 minutes) to form a complete structure measuring 47½" tall by 68" wide and just begging for play!
While my girls are a bit too big for the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber (it is recommended for children ages 3-6), it has a total weight limit of 177 pounds, meaning they were happy to climb right on!
As an outdoor toy, the Dome Climber is plenty sturdy and has space for little ones to climb, hang off, swing on, and more (my kids have been jumping on it plenty and it has held up without even a bend).
Not to mention that the addition of a sheet or other large piece of fabric can instantly turn it into a play house, den, school, rocket ship or much more!
However, as much fun as the Dome Climber is on its own, it only takes a quick download of the Lil' Monkey App to turn it into an entirely new toy.
Free to download (from the App Store or Google Play), once the Dome has been purchased the Lil' Monkey App is able to detect the location of the child and the Dome. When the child moves around the Dome, the App identifies and reveals a virtual world of fun with its Lil' Monkey character!
Kids then feed this cute monkey fruits, discover treasures, and win points by completing objectives as quick as possible as they advance through the 28 stages within the time limit.
As the fruits may be located 360° around the space, kids are excited to get up and get moving as they run, turn, twist, and more as they play with their Lil' Monkey!
Considering how comfortable kids of all ages are with technology these days, every young child that we have had try out the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber has had no problem interacting with the App (as well as just having a blast climbing).
The end result truly has been the perfect blend of exercise and motor skills with cognitive thinking and problem-solving skills... and FUN!
When it comes to an outdoor toy that young children are sure to love, the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber is the only one of its kind on the market to take physical play to an entirely new level.
This strong and solid structure (it meets EN-71 and ASTM safety standards) is extremely lightweight and easy to move around, not to mention that if it came time to disassemble it to store for winter, it would only require removing a few sections so that it would take up much less space.
Lil' Monkey does recommend this for outdoor use, but if you had a large, carpeted basement play room and could set this up with room to spare, I could see it being used as a year-round way to burn energy while learning!
Find out much more about the award-winning Lil' Monkey Dome Climber and its App by visiting Lil-Monkey.com and purchasing this incredible structure on Amazon where it retails for $139.99.
Other than the Dome Climber I was provided by Lil' Monkey in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this product.