Pok Pok Playroom
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Pok Pok Playroom
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
Very Cool! Wish it was a one-time purchase…
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A unique, exploratory app that my toddlers LOVE (and play together)
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What’s It About?
In POK POK PLAYROOM kids choose one of nine different activities from the main menu. They can freely explore a detailed town, complete with dozens of familiar places that include a school, farm, recycling plant, car wash, and supermarket. When tapped or driven, cars, buses and heavy machinery make the appropriate environmental sounds (i.e. honking or beeping). The people included in the scenes have underlying skin tones that are either red, yellow or blue. People in wheelchairs are among the characters. When people are tapped throughout the app, they speak gibberish rather than saying words in a specific language. Another activity includes hundreds of themed, illustrated pictures to scroll through which include things like: school, weather, home, sea creatures, and sports. A third activity allows kids to manipulate various gadgets like light switches, locks, levers, temperature gauges, radars, gears, and timers they can tap on/off or twist. The other activities include a simple drawing screen, a way to create music by dragging shapes across the screen into each other, stacking interactive blocks, and more.
Is It Any Good?
Pok Pok Playroom gives kids the opportunity to tap, swipe and explore a variety of everyday items like towns, toys, and animals within virtual experiences. Kids will love driving campers, cars, and trucks through scenes like a car wash, recycling plant or a construction site, which are all very thoughtfully designed and detailed. Some of the interactions with the items, which are described by the developer as "toys," are pretty predictable. For this age group, it would be great to include a little silliness or surprise. That said, kids can find things like a bear hiding in the woods which could spark their imagination to think about how he might visit the nearby campsite or steal food from the supermarket.
Many of the illustrations are detailed, but the screen doesn't allow for zooming in, which makes it easy to overlook some of the smaller features. Also, there are some common household items that kids shouldn't explore in real life. Kids practice what they learn, so virtually playing with items like pill bottles and injectable needles could be problematic. In term of sound effects, listening to the people speak gibberish might be annoying over time for adults listening in, so let the kids use headphones. Overall, the virtual town, the lights and gears, and the picture exploration are highlights so far, though more activities are to come.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Pok Pok Playroom offers endless opportunities to build vocabulary. While kids can freely explore the scenes on their own, parents can spend a few minutes to sit and explore along with their kids, reinforcing the names of the animals, toys or items they are interacting with.
Talk about how it allows kids to virtually experience items like clothing irons, electrical cords, hot grills, scissors, fire, pill containers, injection needles, and heavy machinery. Additional conversations around safety may need to occur given that it is not safe to explore these items in their daily lives without adult supervision.
Discuss that, while many kids learn through problem solving on their own, parents may need to offer some guidance on how to scroll through the scenes in order to uncover new play patterns. For instance, parents can guide kids toward dragging a person in the farm scene into the tractor to drive it, or looking for the letters hidden throughout the town to bring to the post office mailbox.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling, vocabulary, Science: animals
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
- Pricing structure: Free to try (two weeks free, then $3.99/month or $29.99/year)
- Release date: May 19, 2021
- Category: Education
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, STEM, Adventures, Horses and Farm Animals, Ocean Creatures, Robots
- Publisher: Pok Pok Inc.
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.3 or later
- Last updated: November 9, 2021
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