Toca Birthday Party

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Toca Birthday Party App Poster Image
Simple, short-lived fun; more options off screen.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to use an app and can practice social interactions. They'll get practice tapping, dragging, and moving items around the screen. Toca Birthday Party itself is simply just for fun. Yet, if it's used as a way to facilitate pretend play, kids can learn as they try out different roles (e.g., as a host or a guest) and participate in a simulated social event. However, kids will get the most out of this app if they actually put the screen away and focus their attention mostly on the pretend play rather than what's happening on the screen. So, while Toca Birthday Party is simple, toddler-friendly fun, off-screen imaginative play has far more learning potential to offer.

Ease of Play

Kids drag and drop objects on the screen and use their imagination.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

On home screen there's a link to view ads and commercials for other apps from Toca Boca. Purchase is protected behind a child gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toca Birthday Party is an open-ended app meant to inspire and facilitate creative play. Though kids could play alone, the idea is that kids invite real or imagined friends to be "guests" at a birthday party. Kids lead the way as they interact with their guests and carry out hosting duties. This app actually works best when parents play with their kids and supports multiple languages including English, Arabic, Chinese,  French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, among others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant and 2-year-old Written byCupcake Mom August 15, 2016

Toca Boca Birthday Party

This app is good, but my 2 year old isn't ready for it yet. It involves lots of dragging around, which is hard with motor skills that aren't really th... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

It's TOCA BIRTHDAY PARTY and you're hosting! Choose from three cakes, set out plates, then arrange your guests around the on-screen table. Serve and eat cake, pour and drink juice, pop confetti streamers, and open a present. When the cake is all eaten, put everything in a tub of soapy water to be washed -- and start again. A letter from the developer offers some hints for how to use TOCA BIRTHDAY PARTY as a launching pad for creative play. 

Is it any good?

Like many Toca Boca apps, Toca Birthday Party gets high marks for being well made with appealing graphics and a no-rules approach. This is a fun app, even if it doesn't have that many interactive features. In fact, as with many Toca Boca apps, there's very little that this app actually does. So, while Toca Birthday Party as a way to facilitate pretend play with friends is cute, there's no good reason to need a screen for pretend play -- and several reasons why you shouldn't use one. For instance, interactions are limited to what someone else programmed the app to do. Kids are better off breaking out the toy cups, some toy food (or draw some on paper), a few of their best stuffed animal friends, and being in complete control of their own make-believe birthday party.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to host a party. What qualities or manners make a great host? What qualities or manners make a great guest?

  • Encourage non-digital pretend play. Toy props like wooden or plastic food, little plates, etc., help, but are certainly not necessary. Kids can even do amazing things with just a cardboard box, some paper, or a few sticks!

  • Enter your kid's world and let them try out different roles. Sometimes they're the parent and you're the kid, other times they're a kid, and you're a dog, or you're both astronauts having tea in outer space…let them lead the way!

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: playing
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: December 3, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 78.30 MB
  • Publisher: Toca Boca
  • Version: 1.0.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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