Toca Kitchen

Common Sense Media says

Imaginative cooking game with no rules is just right.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

This game is very easy to play, because there aren't any rules. Navigating between the screens is very clear. Kids must explore to learn how to select a food and prepare it, but these steps are fairly intuitive. The graphics are quite compelling, particularly showing the food gradually browning as it's cooked in boiling water or on a steaming pan, even though the characters are animated very stylistically.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is an advertisement for more apps from the developer on the main screen, but it can be disabled in the parent section. The girl character is also wearing a Toca Boca t-shirt.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Toca Kitchen does not have any rules or accomplishments; it is a fun, imaginative tool for kids to explore food selection and preparation. Kids first select one of four characters: a boy, a girl, a cat, or a bull. Then, kids open the fridge to select one of 12 food items, including meat, fish, vegetables, an egg, and hay. Kids can then try to feed the character the food raw, or prepare it with a knife, food processor, pot of water, frying pan, or microwave. As can be seen in this trailer, the food changes in response to the preparation, for example being sliced, ground up, or browned. Different characters react to the food in different ways -- for example, the bull loves the hay, which is rejected by the other characters. Since the app is easy to use, but can be a bit repetitive, it's best for younger kids.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence

Creativity

  • imagination

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Little kids who just want to play and explore without worrying about rules will adore this app. The characters look a bit odd at first, but after a few cries of, "Yum!," they quickly grow on you.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by exploring (e.g., the bull only eats the hay). No rules or rewards to encourage participation, but it's a fun way to explore food selection and prep. Could be a conversation starter about favorite foods and nutrition.

Support

This game is very easy to play because there aren't any rules.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence

Creativity

  • imagination

Kids can learn a little bit about cooking as they chop, blend, sauté, boil, and microwave a variety of foods. The app actually shows the color of the food changing as it boils or the pan hissing as it sautés, which offers a level of realism. Kids can also learn the types of diets preferred by various animals, for example, what a cat might or might not eat in contrast to the diet of a person or a bull. This activity could be a great conversation starter for parents and kids to talk about their favorite foods and about nutrition in general. Toca Kitchen is a simple and fun app for getting kids interested in and exploring food.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In Toca Kitchen, kids get to pretend they are chefs feeding four different food tasters -- a boy, a girl, a cat, and a bull. As kids choose what foods to cook and how, they can figure out what each of these four food tasters like and dislike. For example, the cat loves raw meat, but no one else will eat it raw. Kids can get creative with their food creations by mixing and matching the food and cooking technique. Who's ready for some blended fish with microwaved lemon?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Little kids who just want to play and explore without worrying about rules to follow will adore this app. The characters look a little odd at first, an impression not helped by their monosyllabic grunts and gasps in response to the food, but after a few "yums!" they quickly grow on you. It's fun to figure out which foods the characters like, and it's really neat to watch the food brown and steam while it cooks. We might be a tad happier if the kids would use their forks to eat their food, and perhaps say "no thank you" rather than dropping rejected food off their plate! Still this is a great app for cultivating early exposure to cooking. Bon appetit!

Families can talk about...

  • Involve your kids in meal preparation. There are plenty of simple cooking tasks that are safe for little ones such as measuring ingredients or washing produce.

  • Let your kids have a say in meal planning. Ask them to talk about their likes and dislikes and have them help you shop for groceries.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Release date:December 15, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Size:17.70 MB
Publisher:Toca Boca
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

This review of Toca Kitchen 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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Kid, 5 years old January 18, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

adam

What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byAnitaT March 16, 2013
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Fun for a short period.

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