First of all, happy 12/12/12! I’m not sure of the significance of this symmetrical date, but it seems like it should be meaningful so I want to wish you everything wonderful that this mysterious date has to offer.
Second of all, today I am kicking off a new weekly feature on the blog called What’s App-ening Wednesday wherein I will share and review apps that Dylan is currently enjoying. As you know, Dylan is an app connoisseur (by way of me, because I put them on his iPhone), so you won’t find any duds here. Overtime, I hope this feature becomes a great resource for parents of toddlers and preschoolers because I know how overwhelming it can be to sift through the app store and find legitimately entertaining and/or educational apps for your kids. Dylan and I will do the work for you!
The app I’m going to share today, Toca Kitchen, aims to make food fun and familiar to young children. What is familiar is usually less scary, so I, for one, am hoping that this app eventually makes broccoli more appealing to Dylan in real life. (Okay, I’m not counting on it, but maybe it will work for you.)
Toca Kitchen, a Parents’ Choice Awards 2012 Gold Winner, is the app that lets you play with your food! Users choose and prepare foods for four different characters including a cat, bull, boy and girl.
Each character has different food preferences and will react differently depending on what you feed them.
Once you select a food item from the fridge you can drag it into the kitchen and cook it in many different ways.
The cat likes fish any way you make it, even raw, whereas the girl will only tolerate fish if it’s cooked.
One thing that’s cool is that even if you’re done preparing a certain food, you can take it back into the kitchen and do more to it. For example, you can microwave a pear and then pop it in the blender before serving it. You eventually discover that the different characters have strong preferences for certain foods and preparations.
While this app offers a number of learning opportunities, its also highly entertaining. Dylan gets the giggles every time he serves the cat hay because the cat does not like hay at all and hisses at him. Pro tip: the bull loves hay!
I see this app as a great introduction to the important life skill of choosing, preparing and eating food. Beyond this, creativity is nurtured as users must decide how they want to prepare the different foods. Finally, some finessing and interpersonal skills are involved in order to prepare the right foods the right ways for the right characters. I also love that Dylan is the head chef in Toca Kitchen and has a chance to become more familiar with different foods in a nonthreatening way.
The nitty gritty: Toca Kitchen is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It costs $1.99 and can be downloaded here. Toca Kitchen is developed by Toca Boca and you can expect many more reviews of their apps on this site in the weeks to come because they make some amazing digital toys!
Thank you to my talented husband, Jason, for designing the What’s App-ening Wednesday graphic at the top of this post. I told him I needed a graphic and he had this gem to me in ten minutes!
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