A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Access all the Toca Life scenes in one TOCA LIFE WORLD: BUILD STORIES. Tap on any location -- post office, theater, or barbershop, for example -- to enter. Once in, add characters, change their clothes, and interact with objects, and then visit another location. Kids can also create their own characters and build their own buildings. Some locations allow kids to record their voice and movements on the screen. Buy more locations and characters or add Toca Life apps you've already purchased directly through Toca Life World: Build Stories. Tap the Toca Life Mix icon on the home screen to watch short animations featuring Toca Life characters and scenes.
Is it any good?
This seamless collection of locations, objects, and characters for open-ended imaginative play is limited mostly by how much money you want to spend. Toca Life fans will love the opportunity to collect all their worlds in one place. It's easy now to pop into the stable, go on vacation, visit the hairdresser, and stop by the office. There's opportunity here to create a huge, interconnected world -- that is, if you want to pay for it. The free download includes quite a bit of content. And those who've already bought apps in the Toca Life series have even more of a head start. But even so, growing this world requires a bit of an investment, which could make Toca Life World: Build Stories feel like a push to buy, buy, buy. It's important to note that the developer included a way to turn off the shopping icon, which gives parents a great option for avoiding this pitfall. And though it looks great to keep adding to the world, there's actually a good deal of repetition across locations. Sure, there's different scenery and some different objects, but the essence of what's available in the school isn't all that different than what's available in the city, for example. The Toca Life Mix animated stories give kids some inspiration for creating storylines and help support Toca Life World: Build Stories' storytelling potential. The build-your-own sections give kids lots of autonomy to create and take the lead in their play, but also present another area where kids can pay real money to buy more options. Toca Life World: Build Stories shines as a largely flexible platform for imaginative play. It's up to families to decide if this digital space provides as rich an opportunity for pretend play, imagination, and role play as off-screen forms of this most traditional type of play do -- or if they both have a place in their kids' lives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the narratives kids create in Toca Life World: Build Stories. Ask questions about who different characters represent, what they're doing, and why.
Encourage off-screen pretend play with tea sets, dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, cardboard boxes, and more.
Discuss storytelling. If your kid wants to use the app to tell stories, encourage him or her to have a beginning, a middle, and an end and to use the recording feature in the app.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (additional content available through in-app purchases; prices range from $.99 and up)
- Release date: September 16, 2020
- Category: Education
- Size: 774.70 MB
- Publisher: Toca Boca
- Version: 1.25.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: October 8, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love preschool and storytelling apps
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.