Review: DMAI Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Play

Review: DMAI Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Play

DMAI Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Playview

Daniel W. Rasmus



The little tablet that is destined to bring hours of learning and pleasure to any toddler lucky enough to have DMAI Animal Island Learning Adventure join their toy menagerie.


Review: DMAI Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Playview

I always cringe when I see a parent hand an expensive tablet or phone to a child. Not only does the phone seem at risk, I’m never sure if the screen time is meant for learning or just distraction.

DMAI has solved that problem, at least at home, with the Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Play, a tablet on a built-in stand designed just for toddlers heading into pre-school.

Physical, sometimes purpose-built designs, and tiny screens, often limited previous generation “computer toys.” AILA delivers a very different learning experience. This toy sits atop Android, beyond start-up, the OS remains hidden. The focus for the child is an AI-based learning environment that sweeps across ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes, reading, and music. And it also includes learning opportunities focused on problem solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity.

The Animal Island Learning Adventure experience

This is a kid-sized device, with a kid-friendly UI that really seems to deliver on its promises. I don’t have a toddler, but I do have a granddaughter just learning to crawl. She cuddles up with Grandpa to enjoy stories and songs on the device. I’m sure she will find it even more engaging as she matures.

Unlike so many products today, AILA is a one-time purchase. Free updates arrive without the need for a subscription.

A free mobile app helps parents track learning.

And that’s the heart of AILA, the AI component. The devices sense interactions, such as does the child sing along or not when asked to. The more engaged the child, the more interactive the device.

The Mom’s Choice Awards

Those worried about brain worms from poorly designed software should rest well knowing that The Mom’s Choice Awards® (“MCA”) recently named Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Play as among the best in family-friendly media, products, and services (see Mom’s choice awards shop here). 

To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five (5) identical samples for testing. The awards team matches entries to professional educator and parent evaluators, in the MCA database. MCA employs a strict code of ethics to ensure objectivity, freedom from manufacturer influence. Evaluators submit their analysis to the MCA Executive Committee for final review and approval.

“Our aim to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” said Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards. “We have a passion to help families grow emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high-quality and also a great value. The MCA evaluation program incorporates the expertise of scientists, physicians, and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.” 

Violence plays no role in AILA, and it minimizes source bias through colorful animals as teachers, rather than any particular human archetype.

AILA and the future 

I don’t write many reviews of children’s products, but I do write a lot about tablets and people’s interactions with them, I found AILA well designed for its target toddler market. The ruggedly built device sports smoot, rounded edges, a single, easy to reach button in the front (parents turn it on from the back), and a bright, clear touchscreen display.

I promise to report back as my granddaughter grows into the more sophisticated levels of interaction. 

DMAI is also focused on growth, as Helen Fu Thomas, DMAI Chief of Staff and Chief Marketing Officer stated in their MCA award press release. 

“At DMAI, our mission of lifting humanity and applying our innovative insights to technology helps people learn naturally. Along with learning, we are invested in helping people live better lives with cognitive AI. We have started our journey with our first product, AILA Sit & Play essential virtual preschool program for toddlers, and we’ll go on to preschool, then to K-12, and beyond. For us, it’s all about the journey and we are looking forward to it.”

AILA: The bottom line

Parents often use screen time more as distraction than instruction. With ALIA,  they can engage rather than distract, facilitate learning, rather than passivity. This well-designed tablet for toddlers brings a wealth of learning opportunities its colorful, well-designed UI, and its thoughtful curriculum.

AILA Sit & Play (MSRP $199) is available nationwide on DMAI’s Animal Island website, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and buybuyBaby. For more information, please visit and follow them on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

DMAI provide the ALIA for review purposes.

Images courtesy of DMAI.

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Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

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