Toca Life: Farm

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Toca Life: Farm App Poster Image
Kids run the show in farm-to-table free-play world.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Though there are no clear learning objectives, kids will feel empowered to be in control and in charge of everything that happens on their farm. They'll practice storytelling and try on different personas as they set scenes, create characters, and craft stories. Kids can also experience a bit of what goes into producing the food they find on their supermarket shelves. With parent involvement, the learning potential is higher.

Ease of Play

Navigation is smooth as kids explore different areas on the farm. Sometimes it can be awkward to place objects where you want them or difficult to pick up small objects.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There is a small icon on the home screen that takes users to ads for other Toca apps; a parent lock protects actual purchase. Parents can hide this icon in the settings menu on their device.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toca Life: Farm adds a touch of agriculture and country life to the Toca Life series. Just like all the other apps in the series, kids have a large collection of characters, props, and settings that they use to pretend and tell stories. Because the game takes place on a farm, props also include plenty of manure. Kids can record their own voices narrating a short story as they move things on the screen. For this they'll need access to the device's microphone and camera roll to save. There's an icon on the home screen that features weekly videos and silly facts about the Toca Life characters. In the settings menu, parents can turn off this icon as well as the one that advertises other Toca apps. The parents' section includes some play tips and discussion ideas. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Kids play and explore in four areas on the TOCA LIFE: FARM. Visit the farm, field, farmhouse, and store to interact with animals, crops, a host of farm-related and random objects, and the familiar Toca characters. Kids can do things such as plant, water, and harvest crops or put ingredients (such as wheat) in a machine to make familiar food products (such as bread). Put objects in storage to clear a scene or carry things across scenes. Tap record to make and narrate videos up to two minutes long. Weekly videos use Toca characters and objects to tell silly farm-related stories.

Is it any good?

As usual with this series, imaginations and open-ended play reign as kids explore and take control of their own play experience, but the most learning potential comes with adult involvement. Toca Life: Farm distinguishes itself a bit from the others in that there's a bit more to it than kids moving things around and telling stories. That is, objects transform and things happen on-screen as a direct result of what kids do. Plant a seed, water it, and watch crops grown. Or put milk and strawberries into a machine, set it to strawberry milk, and watch the machine spit out your product to take to the store shelves. In this way, kids have plenty of space for free play and pretend worlds, but they also see their actions having an impact on what happens on the screen, which may help engage kids more. The record function, which allows kids to document and share their silly stories, also adds a special touch. Though the question still remains whether this digital setting can offer kids the flexibility for imagination and creativity they get when engaging in pretend play offscreen, Toca Life: Farm could be close to as good as it gets for screen-based pretend play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the farm-specific topics introduced in Toca Life: Farm. Where do vegetables, bread, or potato chips come from? Help them follow the production line from crops to factory to store. Talk about which food items require more processing or more stops along the way than others.

  • Listen to and observe the stories and scenes kids create. Ask kids to explain what they're doing and why, have them introduce their characters, and help them follow a simple story arc with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

  • Encourage offscreen pretend play with tea sets, dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, cardboard boxes, and more.

  • Read the letter from the developer for some insight into what the app has to offer and how to accompany your kids' play.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love preschool apps and the outdoors

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