Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber Review

The Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber by TP Toys is not only a great climbing frame for children aged 3-6 but it combines outdoor fun with technology too.

It is simple assemble using the easy to follow instructions and slotting the plastic tubes into the correct slots on the brackets.  I did go slightly wrong and put a left in a right which was a bit of a struggle to get back out, but we managed.  All in all it took around 45 minutes to put it all together and Isaac and Eliza couldn’t wait to climb all over, hang off and swing on the dome which is made of sturdy, strong plastic, tubes which flexible yet safe to climb on.

Lil Monkey Dome Climber

The Lil Monkey Dome Climber has overtaken the trampoline as the favourite piece of play equipment in our garden.  Both Isaac and Eliza race around it like experts, practising their “Ninjastic Skills” and hanging off it upside down like monkey’s or standing on the top of it with their best balancing skills.  If space is a at a premium in your garden this is the perfect option as it measures just 160cm wide and 120cm tall.

What makes this Climber different from its rivals is a fun, free and educational app which is included and designed to develop cognitive, social and creative skills – A world of virtual fun!

The App uses state of the art Interactive Augmented Reality Technology to bring the Monkey Dome to life, on-screen. The App**, which is Free to download when the Dome has been purchased, cleverly detects the location of the child and the Dome. When the child moves around the Dome, the App will identify the location of the child and will reveal a virtual world of fun!

A Lil’ Monkey character will appear and instruct the child to feed him with fruits, and discover treasures, to win points. The player gets points by completing objectives as quickly as possible. The quicker the child, the better chance of winning loads of points!

Lil Monkey Dome

Whilst this seems a good idea, at first I didn’t understand how to play the app as there are no instructions, either on the website or on app store.  I had wrongly the assumed that I had to hold the iPad whilst Isaac and Eliza climbed around the dome, however this is not the case.

The idea is Isaac or Eliza register the app using the picture which hangs from the top of the dome.  This brings a monkey onto the screen with a clock and a picture of a piece of fruit they want you to catch.  The child then has to move around the outside of the dome and catch the fruit the monkey wants by pressing the screen when it appears, avoiding the items it doesn’t want.  As the game progresses the challenges get more complicated e.g. catch an apple, a banana, an apple in that order.  The quicker you do it, the more stars you win.

My fundamental issue with this is that it requires the child to be outside with an electrical device.  If ours use an iPad / iPhone it is at home on a sofa or sat on a table so it doesn’t get dropped, this app requires you to be outside and moving around the dome, plus the app crashes on our iPad 2 which is the device our kids use.  I have tried the app on my phone and it works with no issues, however I have already dropped and had to replace my phone screen on my iPhone 6, I am not prepared to let the kids loose with it in the garden and do it again.

I really like the TP Lil Monkey Climber as a stand alone product, but I am afraid that we won’t be using the app along side it.

**Compatible with iOS 4.3 and Android 2.2 and later.

8 thoughts on “Lil’ Monkey Dome Climber Review”

  1. I don’t understand the concept. A climbing frame is for climbing. Sounds to me like they are trying to entice climbing via technology when in fact the majority of under 6’s would rather climb than play ipad anyway!

  2. OOh as a piece of play equipment it looks fab, esp as space is at a premium in our garden! I am with you on the app tho – not letting my three year old outside with my ipad!


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