What parents need to know
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
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- making new creations
- multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
Engagement, Approach, Support
A fun and silly spin-off of Toca Kitchen, with surprisingly endearing monsters. The messy kitchen and new vegetables will stand out to kids.
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.
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'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?
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.