Toca Kitchen

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Toca Kitchen App Poster Image
Imaginative cooking game with no rules is just right.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a little bit about cooking as they chop, blend, sauté, boil, and microwave a variety of foods. The app actually shows the color of the food changing as it boils or the pan hissing as it sautés, which offers a level of realism. Kids can also learn the types of diets preferred by various animals, for example, what a cat might or might not eat in contrast to the diet of a person or a bull. This activity could be a great conversation starter for parents and kids to talk about their favorite foods and about nutrition in general. Toca Kitchen is a simple and fun app for getting kids interested in and exploring food.

Ease of Play

Overall this game is easy to play, because there aren't any rules. However, some kids might need a little help mastering the series of taps and drags that get the job done. Kids must explore to learn how to select a food and prepare it, but these steps are fairly intuitive. The graphics are quite compelling, particularly showing the food gradually browning as it's cooked in boiling water or on a steaming pan, even though the characters are animated very stylistically.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There is an advertisement for more apps from the developer on the main screen, but it can be disabled in the parent section. The girl character is also wearing a Toca Boca t-shirt.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnitaT March 16, 2013
Adult Written bysarilou99 December 29, 2014

Helped with picky eater

My daughter was a super picky eater but this app has helped her open up to other possibilities. She also likes to help in the kitchen but the real life blender... Continue reading
Kid, 5 years old January 18, 2012

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!

Talk to your kids 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.

App details

For kids who love apps for young kids

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