Review by Alison

20111011-120205.jpgToca Boca has a winner on their hands! The company based in Sweden creates digital toys and games for kids which focus on imagination. Their newest app, Toca Store for either the iPad or the iPhone, creates a virtual shop where children can choose from a catalog of virtual products to stock and how much to sell them for. It can either be played alone or with two or more players. One can be the storekeeper and ring up sales, while the other is the customer. This is a great app because it facilitates turn-taking skills as well as simple counting. I also really liked the ability to purchase the items, and the magical coin purse coming up with more money as necessary for specific items. It also required individuals to finish their turns by first putting the item on the conveyor, ringing it up, paying for it, and then bagging it up before allowing someone to proceed on to the next step.

I really liked that the app incorporated the ability for two different people to play different roles. One can play the shopkeeper and choose the items to be sold as well as the prices they are sold at, while the other is the shopper. The app was very easy to use and one that encouraged cooperation, negotiating, turn taking and basic counting/math skills. The app could also be used with older children to explain the concept of budgeting as you are only allowed to purchase a finite amount before the game is completed. I could see using this app to explain the concept of allowances. I also really liked the “For the Parent” section which provided information about the background on the game as well as things that the players could use the game for. This section, which appears in all Toca Boca apps provides insight into the thought behind the app as well as creative ways the app can be used.

I would like to see the ability for the app to label prices on each basket. This would be helpful for younger children as my little boy wondered how much things cost before putting them in his shopping basket. In addition, I’d like to see the specific items together in the catalog of choices, such as fruit or grocery store items versus toys. I’d also like to see the reciept staying on the screen for a little bit longer to use as a teaching tool. It comes up and disappears rather quickly, so it makes it difficult to explain what the money purchased.

I thought the app stimulated creative play and is another home run by Toca Boca. I would definitely recommend this app along with any of the other apps they have created. I think this app would be best suited to children three and over who understand the basic concept of money as well as the ability to take turns. This would be a great family friendly app as well since parents could also be involved.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6AbpgKIk4A’]

Category: Games
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later.
Cost: $1.99 Toca Store - Toca Boca

Code drop Dec 18 2013

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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