I’m sure I’m not the only parent in the world with a child who won’t sleep. My children always seem to have something they need to do first: get a drink, read “just one more” story, or (my favourite) they’ve just remembered they have to go to school tomorrow dressed as an elephant/pirate/explorer/storybook character and need to pull the entire contents out of the dress up box and my wardrobe. Nott has things she needs to do too, but they are a bit different to our nightly tasks. She needs to light her nightlight, say goodnight to the moon, and rescue her teddy bear. Gradually Nott gets sleepier and finally falls asleep with her favourite bear.
Everything about this app is beautiful, gentle, and perfect for settling over-tired crabby children. Peaceful music plays throughout, the illustrations are beautiful but not over-stimulating, and Nott’s increasing sleepiness helps set the restful tone.
At the start of the adventure, Nott is full of beans, bouncing on her bed and not the least bit tired. As her adventures unfold, Nott starts to tire and you can see this in her posture and face. I found myself yawning each time Nott yawned! It doesn’t matter which order you choose to complete the activities.
- Forest friends – help Nott catch fireflies and play a gentle game of peekaboo with her animal friends, who fall asleep as they are “caught.” The fireflies help to light Nott’s lamp.
- Rescue Nox – Nox the bear is adrift on a lake. Help find items to help rescue him and bring him to Nott.
- Goodnight moon – Help Nott find the moon behind the clouds and then brighten it up.
After each activity is complete, you can turn off the lamp, put the moon to sleep and send Nox and Nott to bed, tucking them in.
You can see the app in action in this YouTube trailer:
This app is a very gentle interactive story that is ideal for settling children and helping them to wind down. I’m not sure it would put my toddler to sleep, as he has very definite ideas about how much time he should play on the iPad (ideas which differ greatly from his mother’s!) and I’m sure that if explored this with him at bedtime he would relax, only to demand to play another game when it had finished (and have a tantrum when I refuse – he does 2 very well.). You may have more luck with your child and, if so, you might want to incorporate it into bedtime routines. Despite my toddler’s iPad domination issues, I still believe Nott Won’t Sleep will be very useful for times when we need some “down time” and a little quiet.
Note: The developers have acknowledged that many child advocacy organizations discourage screen time before bedtime, and they support this. Their intention with the game is for it not to be used for settling time before bed, but to help children learn bedtime rituals by playing with the app over time. They hope that “children will ‘imprint’ those rituals and most effective is when parents copy those rituals into real life. This way it changes the pattern parents and children have before turning to sleep, and supports them in starting the night calmly.”
This review was originally published on The Appy Ladies website.