The app, “Balloonimals” has been a favorite of mine since I started my internship. It rarely fails me during a procedure and keeps the patient’s attention throughout with how many different animals there are to create, play with and eventually pop!
I have found that two-year-olds all the way to even six-year-olds enjoy this app. I usually start by demonstrating how to use the app, and depending how old they are, I’m the one that’s “in charge” of swiping to blow up the balloons because it takes a little bit more fine motor skill that sometimes during a procedure they just don’t have the patience for.
Next, I show them that when they move their finger around the balloon it slowly starts to create an animal. Toddlers, especially, love to guess what the animals are going to be and will usually repeat how I say “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,” as I move my finger around the screen. It’s adorable.
This app is so fun that I’ve seen NURSES ask the patient or family if they’ve ever played the “balloon game” before and then urge me to pull it up and play it so they can see it too. The animals are adorable and they keep you guessing as there’s probably at least 15-20 different animals to make total.
It provides so much engagement with the app itself as well as conversation for you to be having with the patient about the app that it makes the poke almost unnoticeable because the patient is so distracted – which is a big deal!
This app is a winner! Make sure you download this on your iPad (or iPhone if you want to give it a try at home) IDEOko Balloonimals
You won’t be disappointed! Here’s a video that shows all the animals.