My children all loved banging on pots and pans and making noise with all sorts of common household things. Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra brings this experience to mobile devices in a way that is fun for children and easy on the ears of those around them. Helping me test the app was Mr 3, a proficient pots and pans player who has recently taken up playing the spoons.
Playing the Game
The two game modes let children play with a virtual orchestra, or with individual instruments.
Eight “instruments” appear on the screen. As the child taps each one, the object animates and begins to play. The lovely thing is that all the objects will play with rhythms and melodies that complement each other, so any combination will be harmonious. A button in the corner will see a different combination of instruments selected. Mr 3 found it very easy to distinguish between instruments that were playing and those that were not, and he had a lot of fun experimenting with different combinations.
In this mode you can choose an instrument then play with it, making your own rhythms and melodies. There are twenty different items to play with. These include toys, kitchen items, stationery and other items found around the house. It is great to see a few body parts included: lips whistle, fingers click, a foot taps, and hands clap. Each instrument is played by either tapping on the instrument or screen, or dragging the instrument around to shake or vibrate. You can see some of the instruments in action in Duckie Deck’s YouTube trailer below.
Things We Love:
- The app is easy to use with intuitive controls. Mr 3 was able to play without needing any help from me and was quickly able to turn the instruments on and off as he wished.
- The game spills over into real life and can encourage children to be creative away from the iPad.
- There is a great variety of instruments, and we can find all of them in our house. Some of these you can grab and use straight away, such as pots and pans or keys. Others require a bit of assembly, such as the glass xylophone with different water levels. I’d never thought of making a xylophone from an egg carton and spanners, but we are going to give it a shot. Some instruments are your own body parts.
- The graphics are colourful and fun, with a clear layout that makes it easy to use for little fingers. Mr 3 found the animations amusing too.
- Unlike our real life homemade orchestras, this virtual one sounds great! All the rhythms and melodies compliment each other. Also, unlike our real life homemade orchestra, you can control the volume on this one.
Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra is a great creativity app that will amuse children for ages as they experiment with with endless combinations of instruments. The instruments selected are easily found in real life and children will be inspired to create their own real life instruments that will possibly not be as melodic, but will be great fun.
Developer: Duckie Deck
Universal – Requires iOS 6.0 and above
Price: $3.79 (Aus)