A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
It's all things horses at TOCA LIFE: STABLE. Kids move characters and props around in four locations -- stable, arena, forest, and shop -- as they let their imaginations lead them. Feed, groom, and saddle up the horses. Clean and tidy up the stables, and then ride the horses through the forest or jump over fences in the arena. Camp out under the stars and roast marshmallows. Tap the record button to make and narrate videos up to two minutes long. Weekly videos use Toca characters and objects to tell silly stories.
Is it any good?
Horse lovers will delight in this complex, virtual horse-themed dollhouse. As with all apps in the Toca Life series, Toca Life: Stable excels in its ability to provide kids with tools to inspire and encourage imagination, storytelling, and pretend play. The fun, horse-related opportunities include the forest where kids can ride their horses and camp out with sleeping bags and campfires. Unlike others in the series, this app lets kids move characters, props, and animals directly between scenes with the horse carrier, which makes navigation easier and storytelling smoother. The video-recording feature adds a nice empowerment opportunity for kids to document and share their stories. In some limited cases, objects react to what kids do with them, such as when horses change position as they jump over obstacles. One downside is that the littlest fingers with the least motor control might have trouble with some of the tiny objects, since the controls can be a bit finicky. And, overall, the main drawback is that, unlike offscreen imaginary play, in this digital version kids are guided and limited by what the programmers have written into the app.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stories and scenes kids create wit Toca Life: Stable. Ask kids to explain what they're doing and why, introduce their characters, and help them follow a simple story arc with a beginning, middle, and 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.
Take your kid who loves horses to a local stable to see horses close up, and maybe even learn about grooming and riding. If that's not a possibility, help them find books and videos that feature horses.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: December 5, 2016
- Category: Education
- Topics: Horses and Farm Animals
- Size: 267.00 MB
- Publisher: Toca Boca
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later: Android 4.1 and up
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