MyPlay Chef Lite
What parents need to know
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 kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
Engagement, Approach, Support
MyPlay Chef will draw kids in with favorite foods to cook and a few fun interactive features such as stirring batter and decorating cupcakes.
Kids learn by going step by step, but there are only four dishes to make and much could have been added that wasn't: measurements, cooking times, temperatures, and large-print ingredient names and equipment.
Kids can view all of their creations on one page -- until they decide to "eat" them, which erases them.
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.
Families can talk about...
Get cooking for real with kids. Model how to measure and talk about what a recipe looks like, what ingredients are wet and dry, and more.
Watch a pro kitchen in action (on TV, on the Internet, or at a real-life restaurant), pointing out what all the big chefs are up to.