A Preschooler’s Perspective : Toca Hair Salon

iPhone
4.5
 

Toca Hair Salon

Publisher(s)  Toca Boca
Developer(s)  Toca Boca

Platform(s) Reviewed  iPhone, iPod Touch • Genre(s)  Entertainment • Release Date  June 07, 2011 • Version Reviewed  1.0 • Price (as reviewed)  $1.99

Pros    Promotes imaginative play  •   Induces fits of giggling    Cons    Sounds cuts off abruptly after a while  •   No glitter

 

Emily

A Preschooler’s Perspective

It’s been nearly a year since we’ve run a ‘Toddler’s Take’ feature. Emily is now 4 years old and still very fond of her iPod Touch, so I figured it was worth reviving this feature and calling it A ‘Preschooler’s Perspective’. In these posts I’ll share her unfiltered reactions and impressions of an age-appropriate game or app.

 

Emily’s most recent obsession is the latest fun “digital toy” app from Toca Boca called Toca Hair Salon. It lets your kids run their own salon, cutting, coloring, combing, shaving and blow-drying the hair on four cute and responsive characters. One morning I loaded the app onto Emily’s iPod before heading to work, figuring we’d play it together when I got home that night. After I finished work, we decided to meet at McDonald’s for dinner and when I arrived at the parking lot, Emily came running out of her Mommy’s minivan screeching and giggling with delight, holding up the iPod. She couldn’t wait to show me the app.

We spent our (not so healthy) dinner discussing the finer points of cutting a lion’s hair and for the ride home she insisted that she join me in my car. Her precious Happy Meal toy was quickly forgotten and cast aside, as she had customers to tend to during the ride home. The entire 30 minute tip back home was filled with laughter and giggles coming from the back seat, along with a little arm constantly thrusting the iPod upward within sight of my rear view to show me something. Between fits of laughter, Emily managed to utter things like:

“Look Daddy I cut her hair and she doesn’t link it.”
“Look at the bear’s hair…it’s PINK…she’s smiling, she likes it!!!”
“Look Daddy, I blew the hair into her face and now she only has one eye!”
“Daddy Daddy Dadddy…wanna see something that might be a little scary? It’s a LION….ROAR…..”

If she wasn’t properly harnessed into her car seat, I think Emily probably would have fallen out of her seat from laughing so much. She has played with Toca Hair Salon countless times since then and every time the house fills with the sounds of her laughter and her face gets an ear to ear grin. In fact, just tonight at a dinner with extended family, she insisted on showing off her styling skills to each and every dinner guest.

Emily’s Wishlist
When I asked Emily what she would change about the app or if there was anything she wanted Daddy to ask the people who made the game to add, she said that she’d really like to see more characters and maybe the ability to cut MY hair or her own hair. She also said that she NEEDS to be able to add glitter to the hair! I passed along her comments and the good news is that the nice folks at Toca Boca said that a couple more characters are on the way.

Emily’s Complaints
The only real complaint that Emily had about Toca Hair Salon was that for some reason after a while of playing, the sound just cuts out completely and you need to exit and restart the app to get it to come back on. We saw this happen on both her 2nd gen Touch and my iPhone 4. While some parents might see this as a blessing…Emily did not.

In Conclusion

Emily and I both highly recommend Toca Hair Salon! She has an absolute blast using her imagination to give the characters creative (ok…really bad) haircuts. It is fun for me hearing the crazy stories that she comes up with to explain why the characters’ facial expressions are changing during their marathon-length styling sessions. You will certainly find yourself smiling as much as your child. In fact I think Emily probably laughed and giggled more while playing this $2 game tonight, than she did during the whole of viewing of Cars 2 earlier in the day!