What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Toca Hair Salon Me is a creative hairstyling app that lets kids insert their own photos or those of friends, family members, and pets onto the app. As the third in a popular series of Toca Boca hairstyling apps, Toca Hair Salon Me animates these personal photos to create movement in the faces' eyes and mouth while kids are styling the hair, making them similar to the digital characters on the previous Toca Hair Salon apps but personalized. As kids are washing, coloring, blow-drying, cutting, and accessorizing the hair, the faces wince, smile, wink, and more. If kids cut too much, there's a can of G.R.O. at the ready to fix the mistake with more hair instantly. Kids also can insert different backgrounds, take photos of their creations, and share them.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- identifying emotions
- perspective taking
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
- digital creation
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Highly engaging, as kids use their own images and those of people and pets in their lives. With so many choices for styling, this app can keep kids in the hairstyling business for multiple, extended, and focused play sessions.
Kids learn by using technology to be creative and by making decisions about how they want the person in the photo to look. Kids can view their creations and assess their work.
Toca Boca apps encourage free play with very few directions, and Toca Hair Salon Me is no exception. A visual example and a few more tips on how to size images and line up the eyes and mouth for certain effects would be a nice addition.
What's it about?
Tap "play" on TOCA HAIR SALON ME's main page and select a photo from your device's camera roll to style. Choose a head shape and pinch or expand your fingers to size the image to the head. Tap the green arrow to move onto the mouth- and eyes-sizing and centering page. When complete, start styling! Cut, curl, comb, color, and more by tapping and moving your finger around. Swipe the bottom of the screen for more options.
Is it any good?
Toca Hair Salon Me is a creative app experience that's as sticky as super-strong hair gel. Just as with the other Toca Hair Salon apps, there are so many styling options, but this app takes the fun to a new level because kids are actually styling themselves and people (or pets) they know. Some creations and the facial expressions the images respond with are laugh-out-loud funny. Sizing the images just right, and lining up the eyes and mouth to assist the app in getting the facial expressions properly placed, likely will be difficult for many kids on the younger side of this app's target audience, and they may need assistance. Some older kids may need a few tries before mastering the process, but it's worth the practice time and patience. Kids who loved the first two Toca Hair Salon apps may find this one a bit more of a technical challenge, but it's just as much fun and has just as much open-ended creativity.
Families can talk about...
Discuss with your kid how hair styles can help express a person's unique identity and fashion style. Is it fun to make the hair on someone you know (or yourself) look completely different on this app from what it would in real life?
Remind younger users that it's not advised to cut their own hair and to reserve scissors for paper only. G.R.O. is not a real product!
Explore together what each of you could do in real life to take a perhaps less extreme but still fun fashion risk to express yourself creatively.