Pepi Bath 2 by Pepi Play, is one powerful app for preschoolers depicting and rehearsing activities of daily living. It not only includes some of the features of the original Pepi Bath, but surpasses it in content and ability to portray some of the necessary tasks we need to do every day in a fun and joyful way. Many toddlers and preschoolers are resistant to self-care and hate getting their nails trimmed, noses wiped and the inconvenience of baths and going potty; and forget about chores or cleaning up – Nuh-uh. In this app, kids play with both self-care tasks and daily chores about taking good care of oneself. By doing so, it makes these routines ordinary and not so threatening. Children get to know the sequence of events and then will feel more confident in attempting to perform these tasks.
Six activities are included:
• Brushing teeth/grooming,
• Washing clothes,
• Ironing, folding clothes and putting them away.
I absolutely adore the fact that Pepi Play has included daily chores like laundry and how we need to maintain our clothing. By giving kids “chores” at an early age, whether it is folding washcloths, helping to unload the washer/dryer or sorting silverware, we teach them so much more than the simple act of that particular activity. Here is the chance for kids to generalize and put into action such skills such as matching/sorting, sequencing, and the ability to focus and pay attention. We also provide kids with the satisfaction of contributing and feeling useful. I once knew a teacher, who had her young son polish the door knobs once a week, and he was so proud of his efforts and the responsibility entrusted to him.
Let’s look at some of the highlights from this wonderful app. On opening, you can choose your model, be it human or animal, and then choose your activity. Using the potty can sometimes be a daunting task, but Pepi Play depicts that certain feeling in your tummy, and shows the entire sequence of going potty from start to finish – including washing your hands afterward. This kind of detail is not always included in children’s apps, and it really shows both the level of care and commitment to teaching kids the proper sequence of events. As an adult playing with a child, it is up to you to point out these details and discuss them, and/or reinforce the sequence as it is happening in real time.
Brushing teeth includes brushing teeth, nail cutting, using tissues and a few more grooming tasks. It models blowing into the tissue (something that takes most preschoolers years to learn), nail clipping, and brushing hair, to name a few. Grooming tasks can be some of the hardest tasks in which to gain compliance with little ones. By making it fun, Pepi Play makes it ordinary and just part of an everyday routine. I once had a little girl, who would not brush her teeth, so we set about playing and brushing the teeth with all her stuffed animals. And you know that rehearsal was enough to take the mystery out of it, and she was then able to tolerate tooth brushing.
The bathing and dressing portions are great portrayals of either morning or evening routines. Pepi Play skillfully engages kids and shows them what to do. For example, when rinsing out shampoo, it shows the on screen character closing their eyes to avoid soap getting into them. Washing clothes involve recognizing when clothes are dirty, and placing them in the washer with soap. The child then takes the washer through all its various cycles until the clothes are done. In the ironing portion, kids iron both the front and back of items, then are prompted how to fold certain items of clothing. These two sections are ripe for generalizing play into daily routines. Giving kids the opportunity to safely help with chores is one of the greatest gifts we can give children. It is the gift of trust and independence.
This is one well-executed app for teaching activities of daily living. The graphics are cheerful and the sequencing is spot on. I would highly recommend this for every OT and pre school toolbox.
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.