Hot off the Toca Boca press is a new app to thrill pre-schoolers who like to help around the house.I didn’t think it would take long for a handful of app developers to truly distinguish themselves within the competitive apps-for-kids market. Toca Boca have certainly done that. They have released a number of apps, generally based on very simple concepts such as playing tea parties or hairdressers, with quirky graphics and exceptionally good sound effects.
Most parents will have experienced their children asking “Can I help?” and whilst adults think sweeping the floor is hardly good fun, kids generally relish the opportunity to be involved (which is why pre-schools and kindergartens always have a ‘home corner’).
Toca Boca have harnessed children’s love of household chores with Toca House. Inside the Toca House you help five characters do all sorts of household jobs from ironing and polishing the windows to vacuuming and hanging out washing. There are nineteen different mini-games within Toca House and all will appeal to kids.
As with other Toca Boca games, the characters are a nice mix of friendly and odd and the sound effects that go with each household task are terrific. I particularly like the super-hero trills after a ‘chore’ is completed – if only someone played music and showered me with sparkly stars when I finished doing a load of washing!
Toca House is suitable for pre-schoolers. It may take them a few turns to pick up the gist of the game as the chores and the characters doing them change with each turn – I like that feature because it keeps it interesting but it is slightly less intuitive for younger kids the first few times they play. My four-year-old’s favourite mini-game is the ironing – the one task that I can’t let her help with at home!
Toca House is available through iTunes for $1.99.
See our previous posts on apps here.