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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 Town is an open-play environment designed for little kids. It's like a whole setting of virtual doll houses and people for kids to play with. The town includes a home, an apartment, a restaurant, a store, a police station, and a park, along with about a dozen diverse characters of all shapes, sizes, and colors, including some familiar Toca Boca characters. Whatever kids do to a character carries over into other places in town, so they could shop in the store and then take those items home and put them in the fridge. Kids can reset everything using the circular arrow in the top right of the screen.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In TOCA TOWN, kids (and their imaginations) run the world. The town includes six areas for kids to explore and play in, directing a diverse cast of characters. They can lock people up in jail or wash the police car at the police station, create food dishes at the restaurant, and shop for and wrap gifts at the store. In the house, they can wake people up, feed them, turn lights off and on, and even make people use the toilet and then flush it. They can picnic at the park and have a dinner party at the restaurant. There's much to explore and do.
Is it any good?
Toca Town takes classic preschool play and manages to adapt it -- perhaps even improve it -- using technology, without losing the open-ended possibilities of imaginative play. There are no rules or instructions to limit kids, and there are no little toys to pick up and store. Toca Town is more toy than app, really, with lots for young kids to play with. It's like a doll house on steroids. Each building has different features, and kids will delight in finding out what they can do in each, from turning on lights and flushing toilets to blowing out candles. The fun and depth of play can extend as kids' ideas grow. All the characters remain as kids put them -- dressed or carrying certain items -- so kids can create complex scenarios, perhaps with a character shopping for a birthday gift and cake at the store and then bringing it home to give to another character. Toca Town is the place for lots of giggles and hours of fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stories kids create about the people in their towns.
Show kids the reset button at the top right of the screen if they want to start over. Otherwise, rooms stay as they were and people stay wearing or carrying whatever they've been given throughout.
Read the letter from the developers in the Parents section for more ideas on playing with your kids.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, logic, thinking critically
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: June 24, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 61.50 MB
- Publisher: Toca Boca
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
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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.