Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game App Poster Image
Wild recipes add up to math fun, with hybrid toys or not.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic addition up to 10 with the support of visuals and multitouch or manipulatives. They'll count objects and add them to recipes, and they can use the toys or multiple fingers to group sets of ingredients, which can improve number sense. Kids also have the opportunity to use their imaginations, creating their own crazy concoctions and then making them, extending their creativity and the application of what they've learned. As an added learning opportunity, kids will learn the names of foods -- fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients that may or may not be familiar to them, such as kiwi and shrimp. Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game brings some good, silly fun to counting and addition.

Ease of Play

Play using fingers or the Tiggly Counts manipulatives. Finger play easy to follow, but manipulatives tricky to line up just right and can be quite frustrating.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game is a counting game for preschoolers that can be played either as a traditional app using fingers as counters or as a hybrid toy with the Tiggly Count toys, which retail for $29.99 and can be played with Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking GameTiggly Cardtoons: Learn to Count with 25 Interactive Stories, and Tiggly Addventure: Number Line & Math Learning Game for Preschool. When kids first open the game, they can choose to play by hand or with the toys. If they choose toys, they'll have to unlock that version of the game using the toys the first time they play. Kids also can switch in the middle of a game through the settings. During our review, the toys didn't work reliably, but if kids play with multiple fingers, they won't lose any benefits of the game. Play is available in 10 languages, which can be chosen in the settings.

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What's it about?

The Master Chef in TIGGLY CHEF: PRESCHOOL MATH COOKING GAME helps kids learn to be great chefs, guiding them through three levels of math games, each progressively more challenging. Kids start by following instructions and counting items to add to a bowl. They can add items with their fingers -- tapping each item individually or using several fingers to select several at once -- or use the Tiggly Counters. The second and third levels have kids following wacky recipes to create dishes such as "hot shrimp apple twist." Kids then eat the item by tapping it and record their descriptions of how each concoction tasted.

Is it any good?

Hybrid toys are exciting and new, but users may be disappointed: It's tricky for little hands to get the toys lined up just right, and they don't reliably register on the device. Fortunately, the whole experience works great using fingers, so kids can switch modes mid-game (or play the free app even without the toys, at least at the time of review.) Kids can tap multiple objects at once, using several fingers, so they can work on adding one by simply tapping with one finger or adding multiples by tapping with two or three fingers. Consider taking the app on a free test drive to see if your kid is into it, and then you can try the toys as an extension, because when they work, they're fun!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite wacky food combinations or ask each other "Would you eat it?" when each food creation is shown.

  • Outside the app, parents can talk to kids about numbers and different ways to add and subtract to get a number. For example, if a kid has six berries on his plate for snack, show him how four and two make six, or five and one, or three and three.

App details

  • Devices: iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire
  • Subjects: Math: addition, arithmetic, counting
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, problem solving, thinking critically
    Creativity: imagination
    Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (Play can be enhanced with the Tiggly Counts counter toys which retail for about $29.99.)
  • Release date: January 22, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Numbers and Letters
  • Size: 417.00 MB
  • Publisher: Tiggly
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1.1 or later; Android 3.0 and up

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For kids who love math and preschool games

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