Toca Doctor

Common Sense Media says

Some bug-popping and blood appear in fun and silly puzzles.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

This app has written instructions for parents, but none for kids. It is not always clear what to tap to proceed to the next step, but kids will learn quickly with some trial and error. There are 20 patient ailments to remedy and one game matching the tools in a doctor's kit to their shapes. Patient ailments include pulling splinters out of fingers and toes, popping bugs, turning the device to guide a creature through a maze, wiping clean a bloody knee and applying a bandage, and giving a shot. The app restarts after exiting.

Violence & scariness

Some of the puzzles involve getting rid of bugs that resemble tiny monsters, which squeak and pop and disappear when tapped. This doctoring app also includes wiping away blood, giving a shot, and lining up a broken bone. Tapping a finger or toe with a splinter in it causes the patient to say "ow!"

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Quick sound effects that resemble a burp and a fart follow two of the puzzles involving extricating items from digestive tracts.

Consumerism

The main menu contains links to purchase more apps by the developer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Toca Doctor is a fun and safe collection of puzzles based on healing a sick patient. There are no written and few spoken words in the app -- it is largely visual with sound effects and music. Kids will need help at first understanding how to play. Four patient issues are identified at a time; tapping on one takes you to that puzzle. The puzzles generally involve visual matching, with some logic and tilting the device to move items. Some of the scenes show blood, such as a puzzle giving the patient a shot or cleaning up a cut and applying a bandage. A few puzzles involve tapping on mangy-looking bugs to pop them. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • defining problems
  • solving puzzles

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Artistic graphics, nice sound effects, and fun games will appeal to kids. It won't take long for kids to finish the games, but they're fun enough to play over and over again, especially for younger kids.  

Learning Approach

The games provide plenty of opportunities for conversations about the human body and doctors. However, without context and extra support from an adult, learning within the app may only be superficial.

Support

Kids can't see where they are in the game; they simply cycle through without explanation. Although gameplay is intuitive, there aren't any explanations or help points. The parents section has some nice suggestions for scaffolding.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • defining problems
  • solving puzzles

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness

Kids can learn about how the human body works and how it can be fixed when something is broken. Kids must identify a sick patient's problem using visual and sound cues, then solve a puzzle to fix the problem, often through visual matching of shapes. Many of the 20 puzzles are realistic and encourage a healthy, informed approach to the body and visiting the doctor. However, kids might be confused without guidance or feedback about what to do. Preschoolers can learn a bit about how the human body is fixed, but some guidance is needed.

This Learning Rating review was written by Liz Panarelli

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids will enjoy the simple animations and clean but catchy graphics and sound effects in TOCA DOCTOR. The puzzles can be a bit repetitive, but enjoyably so for preschoolers. Kids will have to learn several different skills to solve the puzzles, and may need help at first. Overall, it's great for kids to have this positive exposure to the workings of their bodies and to doctors' activities, including cleaning teeth, eliminating lice, and giving shots. We'd recommend this app for kids who are nervous about visiting the doctor, but you'll have to keep in mind that some of the puzzles are just for plain silly fun!

Families can talk about...

  • Play alongside your child and explain the body's internal systems.

  • Empower and encourage kids to help you address their own injuries or those of siblings.

  • Read the For Parents section from the main menu for more ideas.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 30, 2011
Category:Kids Games
Size:15.10 MB
Publisher:Toca Boca
Version:1.1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Toca Doctor was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byelemerond November 2, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Perfect while waiting at Dr.

Our first Toca Boca app....Pretty easy, but great for little ones.

What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 3 year old Written bymaggy12 August 20, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Ok for Toddlers

A nice app but a little bit repetitive.

Parent of a 3 and 4 year old Written byklacha2 March 25, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Explain the puzzles health meaning to the kids

More arcade than an educational title. The kids are having a great time popping bugs and destroying germs. If you will discuss each puzzle with them, maybe you can tell them a little bit of each puzzle meaning in health/medical terms they can understand. This kind of interaction will turn this to an educational app.

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