Daddy, Why did she say YUM to blended carrots?

That creative bunch at Toca Boca is back with yet another unique and fun app to captivate and entertain your kids. Their newest masterpiece is called Toca Kitchen and it allows kids to cook and play with food, preparing and feeding it to a cast of cute and hungry characters.

The first time I loaded up Toca Kitchen, I simply told Emily there was a new surprise waiting for her in the (ever expanding) Toca Boca folder on her page of the iPad. She navigated there like a pro and with a little squeal of delight, tapped on the icon featuring a big-eyed boy about to eat a hot dog.

“I wonder what it’s going to turn into Daddy?” Emily said as she eagerly waited to see what the Toca Boca logo would transform into this time. This title sequence has become as much a ritual in and of itself with each new Toca Boca game she plays and just another of the little touches that makes these apps so much fun for kids (and parents alike).

Emily quickly discovered the refrigerator full of various food items including steak, fish, eggs, lemons, carrots and more. In no time she was slicing, boiling, frying, grilling, microwaving and blending. As a little girl that loves to help Mommy bake…Emily was in heaven!

The designers have put a lot of thought into not only the food items, but the reactions that certain characters will have to particular food items. In the real world, not everyone likes the same stuff. The game reflects this and encourages you child to use their imagination and reasoning skills to think of why a character is refusing a food item. Maybe it needs to be prepared a different way? A great example of this is illustrated by the following exchange I had with Emily during one play session:

Emily: Nobody’s eating the chicken Daddy!
Me: How are you cooking it?
Emily: In the blender….I’m eating blended fish too!
Me: Blending does not equal cooking.

The artwork, sound effects and animated responses from the characters are wonderful. In fact, if you play on your iPhone, then when you use the blender your phone will actually vibrate, a cute little touch!

One thing I don’t believe that I’ve mentioned in any of the previous Toca Boca app reviews is that each app includes a “For Parents” section with a detailed letter from the play designer which talks about the inspiration behind the game and ideas for dialogs you can have with your kids. These make for a great read and offer up some nice info for getting the most fulfilling experience out of the app.

In Conclusion

Toca Boca is on a hot streak. They are perfectly in tune with the types of apps kids like. Like its predecessors, Toca Kitchen is a well-crafted, well though out app that your child will keep coming back to again and again and again. Not simply some mindless entertainment, Toca Kitchen encourages creative and imaginative play. Another fantastic job! You can treat your kids to a copy for just $1.99 on the App Store.