A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Toca Store is a digital version of a toy store set that can be used to teach number skills and basic concepts of money to kids who know numbers 1 to 10. The game is designed for two players, a shopkeeper and a customer. The shopkeeper selects five items to sell from a catalog of 28 choices. The customer then drags an item to the checkout table, and the shopkeeper chooses a price for that item (by pressing a number from 1 to 5). That number of circles appears on the cash register, then the players drag coins from the customer's wallet onto the cash register to match the circles. The item is then dragged into the customer's bag, and the customer chooses a new item. There are 10 coins in the customer's wallet; once all 10 coins are spent, the cash register prints a receipt displaying the items purchased and their prices, and the game is over. If the customer does not have enough money for the last item, the wallet winks and the needed coins appear. The game itself is pretty simple and repetitive, so most of the room for learning and creativity is in the conversation that parents have with their kids while playing. The "for parents" section of the game gives some tips. Once they understand the game, kids can play both roles by themselves, or play with other kids.
What's it about?
Players act as shopkeepers and customers. The shopkeeper selects five items from a catalog of 28 choices. The customer then drags an item to the checkout table, and the shopkeeper chooses a price (1 to 5) for that item. The customer drags that number of coins onto the cash register, then drags the item into a bag. There are 10 coins in the customer's wallet; once all 10 coins are spent, the cash register prints a receipt displaying the items purchased and their prices.
Is it any good?
This app is simple but fun, with engaging graphics and great intuitive reinforcement of numbers, counting, and basic money concepts. In particular, counting out the coins, ending the game when the coins are used up, and displaying the receipt helps reinforce counting and introduce the concepts of subtraction and addition. Kids will enjoy picking items to sell, but the value of this repetitive game lies in the interaction between the players. Parent involvement is really required if kids are to understand and get the most out of this app -- and to explain the parts that are just for fun, like the magical wallet that produces the money needed for that last item!
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk about the choices you make and always review the receipt to reinforce the math and money concepts.
Provide feedback from a customer's point of view about your child's inventory and prices by negotiating, refusing to purchase, or exclaiming over the (un)healthy selection.
Review more tips in the For Parents section.
For kids who love math apps and apps for preschoolers
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