My PlayHome

 

Learning(i)

Virtual dollhouse encourages creative play.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids will have no trouble figuring out how to move objects around and interact with them.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The privacy policy is short, sweet, and easy to read. No personal information is collected, and there are no third-party advertisers collecting information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My PlayHome is a highly interactive, dollhouse-style app for kids. Kids can choose from five "types" of family members in generic white, Asian, and African-American skin tones; the characters include moms, dads, boys, girls, and babies. Kids can add all 15 characters (each has a different outfit, hairstyle, etc.) to their homes, allowing for flexibility in creating a variety of family types. They can create a mixed-race family, one with two (or three) moms, or one with only sons. Family members can hang out in the living room listening to music (choose your favorite CD), watching TV, or annoying the fish. The virtual kids might jump on the bed, blow bubbles, or build with blocks in their bedroom. They can even play on the swing in the backyard or work on a garden. The dolls can hold things like a toothbrush or an apple. The house stays in the same state when (real) kids exit, or kids can reset it to its original state. My PlayHome interacts with the My PlayHome Stores app; kids can exit the house and visit the stores in a seamless transition. When they return to the house, their characters will retain all the items (purchases) in their hands, so kids can add groceries and clothing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Arts

  • acting

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids love a dollhouse, especially when family members (virtually) run water in the tub and fry eggs on the stove. Highly interactive with plenty of replay value as kids discover new things to do and objects with which to interact.

Learning Approach

Kids are empowered to explore and might learn to tell stories by making up situations. Diversity in ethnicity and types of families is evident. With adult help, kids can learn home-related vocabulary.

Support

When kids are done playing, they can reset items in the home so it's ready for the next session. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Arts

  • acting

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination

Kids can learn to express themselves and tell stories through the use of the doll family in My PlayHome -- especially if they're encouraged by a parent or caregiver who can provide the language that will help build vocabulary and concepts. Toddlers and preschoolers can explore the home, discovering surprises and letting their imaginations soar. My PlayHome is a good outlet for imaginative play as kids follow their imaginations and tell their own stories.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

Kids say

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What's it about?

MY PLAYHOME gives kids a flexible doll family of up to 15 people (mother, father, boy, girl, and baby in various skin tones), as well as a home and a backyard. There's a living room, kitchen, kids' bedroom, parents' bedroom, bathroom, dressing room (or walk-in closet), and backyard. Kids can explore, play, and share stories. There's no built-in story, but kids can feed their doll family or have the doll children bounce on the bed, give them baths, and let them play in the backyard. When they're done playing, kids can reset the items in the home so it's ready for the next session.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

My PlayHome is an open-ended app kids can explore just like a real dollhouse. Unlike in a real dollhouse, however, these dolls eat food, run water in the tub, and fry eggs on the stove. There are no rules or limited "hot spots" to touch. Kids simply follow their imaginations and tell their own stories as they play. There's plenty of replay value as they discover new things to do and objects with which to interact.

Much like in a real dollhouse, the characters' features can't be customized, but there are interchangeable clothes, jewelry, and hats for them to wear. The ability to create custom families also allows kids to tell their own stories. The app will only save a five-person standard family (mom, dad, son, daughter, baby), but kids can go wild during play sessions. This one should be a staple in any preschool-age iPad user's library; it will hold appeal for older kids, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Sit with your child as he or she plays with the app. Ask open-ended questions about the characters' actions.

  • Help your child compare and contrast what's happening in the app with how things work in your home.

  • Talk to your child as you do things the characters do to expose your child to more vocabulary words used in context.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Apps for Windows
Price:$3.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:November 22, 2013
Category:Entertainment
Size:94.60 MB
Publisher:Shimon Young
Version:2.1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later, Android

This review of My PlayHome was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byKelly Morrison June 11, 2013
age 2+
 

Cute, interactive app for kids who love dollhouses

My son loves dollhouses, and he could play with this app for hours. It's a very well designed and interactive app... You can move the family around from room to room, make them eat and drink and do other tasks, wake up and go to sleep, etc. His speech and language therapist also uses it as a tool to facilitate language development (she asks him to describe what he's doing as he moves the family around in the house).

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