Children’s iPad App Review
by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
From the developer:
- 21 characters to play with. Do you recognize any of them?
- 7 locations to explore - park, pond, store, police station, restaurant, house, apartment
- 30 different dishes to cook in the restaurant
- Go on adventure - light a campfire and sleep in a tent
- Control day and night
- 5 different animals to play with
- Open game play with no rules or stress
- Kid-friendly interface
- No third-party advertising
- No in-app purchases
Toca Life: Town is made for kids as young as 3 yet can capture the imagination of those much older. It's filled with surprises and exciting things to do - there are no limits, just fun! Come play!
There are so many places to explore and elements to interact with in this app. Each part of the town presents opportunities for kids to discover effects and causes, to play out scenarios, The game starts with a map and kids simply touch where they want to go. After that it’s up to their imaginations and your purposes as to what happens. There’s a store where players can shop for groceries, homes to visit, a park to play in - and inside each, there’s a range of things to open/shut, turn off/on, wrap, cook, eat etc.
Alas, I found myself doing “naughty” things like flushing a toothbrush down the toilet and throwing the teapot in the bin. In the police station, I locked the sheriff in the jail! (See image above.) If you’ve run Professional Development sessions for teachers where you’ve asked them to role play being kids, you’ll understand my evil inner child wanting to create havoc. I am sure kids will want to do this too. What a wonderful opportunity for some vocabulary extension and language development! I think that’s the beauty of this app: it will be enjoyed by kids for the play and dramatisation opportunities it offers, but it can also be incredibly useful for educators. Particularly for teachers and parents working with a child who needs to develop language skills or explore real life situations via an app.