A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a cooking app for kids that comes in paid and free versions for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. This review is of MyPlay Chef Lite, the free version. The paid version removes the banner ads only and has some bugginess not found in the free version. While kids of any age can tap away and try to make the four dishes, sometimes hints are needed (tap the question mark) or some light reading is required to know how to proceed.
What's it about?
Choose a chef, give him or her a name, and click the "Get Cookin'" button. Kids can make four dishes: pancakes, a sandwich, pasta, and a garishly decorated cupcake. Add the ingredients one at a time and do a few interactive extras: stir batter by twirling your finger, tilt the screen to flip a pancake, tap blueberries on top in fun patterns, and then either save your creation or tap to "eat." Chomp chomp.
Is it any good?
With just four dishes, MYPLAY CHEF LITE is not a particularly filling app. But nabbing the free version for a long wait at the post office isn't a bad idea. Sitting with kids and talking them through the steps may make the experience a bit more educational. The app developers could have helped you along by labeling all the ingredients and kitchen equipment and the steps in big letters and including talk of measurements, cooking times, and temperatures. For the cupcakes it looks like you add two cups of baking powder -- yikes.
Still, there are some fun interactive moments that keep kids engaged: stirring batter, flipping a pancake, and tapping oodles of meatballs on top of spaghetti.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: April 25, 2012
- Category: Educational Games
- Size: 8.50 MB
- Publisher: College Fitness
- Version: 1.5.44
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.1 or later
For kids who love preschool apps and creativity
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.