Apps We Love

Preschooler Texting with Bitmoji

Monday May 9, 2016

Dave and I stumbled on a very run way for him to keep in touch with Bean throughout the day and when he’s gone on work trips: Bitmoji. It’s turned out to be part-texting, part-Daddy-as-picture-book-hero. It is so much fun.

If you haven’t come across Bitmoji yet, it’s an app that lets you create an avatar that looks eerily like you, and then lets you share  hundreds of images of your avatar doing kinda funny things. Hauling a wheelbarrow full of hearts, tap dancing, slam dunking a basketball, devouring a table full of sushi. It’s pretty random, and that is the joy.

A while back, Bean realized that I was texting with her dad, and she totally wanted in on that. But, you know, our little preschooler can’t exactly read yet or write or type. We tried recording short messages for a while (“DADDY I LOVE YOU!!! I wanna leave a message for Grandma now.”) but as with actual voicemail, it was just inconvenient enough that we didn’t really keep it up.

Then one weekend, Dave and his friends discovered bitmoji, and Cartoon Daddy was born. Bean and Dave have started corresponding over text purely in bitmoji images. He might send her a bitmoji of Cartoon Daddy saying he misses her, and she’ll respond with an image of Cartoon Bean blowing kisses. She finds all of this awesome and hilarious.

During the week, Dave sends her messages to let her know he’s thinking about her, or that he’s having a frustrating day, or that he’s eating lunch now. He’s had to travel a lot in the past couple weeks, so she got a slew of pictures of Cartoon Daddy on the road: Cartoon Daddy sitting on an airplane, going to sleep, and braving an early-May snowstorm in Denver.

She always insists on responding in kind: Cartoon Bean hugging a big heart or dressed as a cat or driving in a convertible into the sunset. When she wants sushi for dinner, she can even pick that bitmoji of Cartoon Bean devouring all the sushi.

(I may also use Bitmoji for my own purposes, say an image of Cartoon Bean under a sea of green (when she’s sick) or overturning the kitchen table (on a difficult morning.))

We’ve been having a blast with it.

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