Toca Kitchen Monsters

Common Sense Media says

Silly spin-off is more fun for Toca veterans than newbies.

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

A brief tutorial in the For Parents section explains gameplay. Instructions for kids come occasionally as visual and audio cues, such as following the direction of the monsters' eyes, or observing differences in their reactions to different foods. Mostly, kids learn to play by trial and error. With only two monsters and eight food choices, the game is fairly simple. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The main screen has a small icon that links to free and paid apps from the developer. This icon can be removed in the device's settings.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Toca Kitchen Monsters is a free, lite version of Toca Kitchen, a digital cooking toy. Two monsters enjoy eight foods prepared in various ways, including a wacky, imaginative vegetable that reveals stripes or spots depending on how you heat it. What the monsters lack in table manners and cleanliness they make up for with silly and satisfying noises. Kids unfamiliar with Toca Kitchen may need help from parents to understand gameplay. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Responsibility & Ethics

  • embracing differences

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A fun and silly spin-off of Toca Kitchen, with surprisingly endearing monsters. The messy kitchen and new vegetables will stand out to kids.

Learning Approach

Kids are empowered to experiment with food and rewarded with delightful, satisfying reactions from the monsters, who communicate nonverbally. Without specific direction, kids are exposed to general cooking concepts.

Support

A brief tutorial in the For Parents section explains gameplay. Instructions for kids come as visual and audio cues, such as to follow the direction of the monsters' eyes.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Responsibility & Ethics

  • embracing differences

Kids can learn about food preparation and cooking and about differences in what types of food people (and monsters!) prefer to eat. By selecting which foods to prepare and how to prepare the foods, kids are empowered to explore the kitchen, heating and chopping with abandon. Like most Toca toys, Monsters encourages play over achievement. Toca Kitchen Monsters is a simple but silly kitchen toy that helps young kids learn basic kitchen concepts -- while getting to play with their food!

This Learning Rating review was written by Liz Panarelli

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What's it about?

Kids first select one of two silly monsters, then open the fridge to select one of eight food items. Vegetarian-conscious parents can adjust the settings to remove any meat. 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. Characters either munch on the food and smile, stick out their tongues in disgust, or reject the food altogether. Occasionally a thought bubble appears to suggest how to prepare the food to a character's liking.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Toca Kitchen Monsters is clearly just a fun and silly spin-off of Toca Kitchen, and its monsters are surprisingly endearing. As a bonus to Toca Kitchen, Monsters is fairly satisfying, since the messy kitchen and new vegetable will stand out to kids as different. Kids new to the series may be left wanting more, though -- as in, they'll want you to buy the regular app. Still, it's a good (free!) way to see how your kid responds to a digital toy with few instructions, versus a game with clear objectives and rules.

Families can talk about...

  • With your child, cook a few foods (such as eggs) that change their appearance depending on how you cook them -- just like the monster vegetable!

  • Change the settings to vegetarian and ask your child what has changed.

  • Check the For Parents section for more ways to stimulate your child's thought process during play.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:April 5, 2012
Category:Education
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Size:23.20 MB
Publisher:Toca Boca
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

This review of Toca Kitchen Monsters was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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