What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Toca Kitchen does not have any rules or accomplishments; it is a fun, imaginative tool for kids to explore food selection and preparation. Kids first select one of four characters: a boy, a girl, a cat, or a bull. Then, kids open the fridge to select one of 12 food items, including meat, fish, vegetables, an egg, and hay. Kids can then try to feed the character the food raw, or prepare it with a knife, food processor, pot of water, frying pan, or microwave. As can be seen in this trailer, the food changes in response to the preparation, for example being sliced, ground up, or browned. Different characters react to the food in different ways -- for example, the bull loves the hay, which is rejected by the other characters. The sequence of taps, drags, and screen changes can be a bit complicated, especially for young kids. Parents may want to help kids through at first before letting them explore on their own. Once kids get going though, there's no stopping them: Play is unlimited and never ending.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
Engagement, Approach, Support
Little kids who just want to play and explore without worrying about rules will adore this app. The characters look a bit odd at first, but after a few cries of, "Yum!," they quickly grow on you.
Kids learn by exploring (e.g., the bull only eats the hay). No rules or rewards to encourage participation, but it's a fun way to explore food selection and prep. Could be a conversation starter about favorite foods and nutrition.
This game is very easy to play because there aren't any rules.
What's it about?
In Toca Kitchen, kids get to pretend they are chefs feeding four different food tasters -- a boy, a girl, a cat, and a bull. As kids choose what foods to cook and how, they can figure out what each of these four food tasters like and dislike. For example, the cat loves raw meat, but no one else will eat it raw. Kids can get creative with their food creations by mixing and matching the food and cooking technique. Who's ready for some blended fish with microwaved lemon?
Is it any good?
Little kids who just want to play and explore without worrying about rules to follow will adore this app. The characters look a little odd at first, an impression not helped by their monosyllabic grunts and gasps in response to the food, but after a few "yums!" they quickly grow on you. It's fun to figure out which foods the characters like, and it's really neat to watch the food brown and steam while it cooks. We might be a tad happier if the kids would use their forks to eat their food, and perhaps say "no thank you" rather than dropping rejected food off their plate! Still this is a great app for cultivating early exposure to cooking. Bon appetit!
Families can talk about...
Involve your kids in meal preparation. There are plenty of simple cooking tasks that are safe for little ones such as measuring ingredients or washing produce.
Let your kids have a say in meal planning. Ask them to talk about their likes and dislikes and have them help you shop for groceries.