Tons of app fun from Toca Boca

When I was little, my friend cut her younger brother’s hair. With the hedge clippers. And then painted his head with green house paint (having seen her mother get bleach painted in her hair at the hairdresser). Given that ‘playing hairdressers’ at home often has dire results, I’m not sure whether this app is a bad thing (putting ideas in little minds) or a good thing (a creative outlet for would-be hairdressers).

What I do know is that Toca Boca’s Hair Salon app is really good fun and has pretty much become the most played app on my phone. It’s fairly simple – pick a character and then cut, comb, shave, colour and blow-dry their hair. The sound effects and the graphics are awesome – sometimes you have a happy customer and other times, not so! Either way, finish the salon visit with a happy snap of their new do (the photo album on my camera is filled with pictures of characters with crazy hair).

Toca Boca have a bunch of other apps that stand out. Toca Doctor lets kids play virtual doctor. Examine a patient and solve simple puzzles and games that take place in the human body – there’s everything from removing virtual splinters and putting major organs in the right spot to sticking Band-aids on grazed knees and mending broken bones. Don’t worry, it’s not at all grim thanks to the neat retro-inspired graphics and fun sound effects.

Utilizing the camera on your iPhone, the Helicopter Taxi app lets you ‘fly around’ and the 3D helicopter can be viewed from all angles. While kids are set the task of picking up and dropping off passengers the fact that this helicopter is ‘in the room with you’ is the winning feature.

If you have an iPad, Toca Tea Party is a must for impromptu tea parties with the works. Set the table, choose your favorite cookies and cakes, pour the tea and you’re without doubt the hostess with the mostest. Again, the graphics on this app are exceptionally lovely.

Find Toca Boca apps at iTunes – prices range from 99 cents to $2.99 each.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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