For me, the best app for kids would be one which will let my child interact with it and better yet, allow me to play with my child too. Before I let my daughter, who is now a toddler, play with an app, I first play them myself and if it passed my judgement then we play together. Just like what you would do when you play with blocks, puzzles or any educational toy. I love it when she sits on my lap while I demonstrate how to play an app and she follows instinctively. She would sometimes lift my hand, telling me to tap or swipe for her. I do not let her play alone so that her use of the tablet is moderated and each activity will be a bonding moment for us.
Recently, I read a lot of good reviews from parenting forum and technology blogs for apps for kids from Swedish developer Toca Boca. Before I buy any educational app, I first read the reviews and if there’s a free version, I try it first. A tablet is only as good as its apps so I carefully choose which apps to download. Besides, it will save you money too.
Toca Boaca is a family owned Swedish company which launched their first digital toy in 2011. I like it that their apps have no advertising or in-app purchases. Toca Boca differentiates their apps as “digital toys” from virtual games because their apps are open-ended and with less rules.
Most of the apps are available in Apple Store but there are some apps which has versions in Google Play and App Store so I can download these apps for my toddler.
Toca Boca Apps for Kids Review
Toca Doctor HD
I have to admit I want to influence my daughter to become a doctor so I want to expose her to this profession this early.Toca Doctor has some cool artwork of the human body and fun sounds which immediately appealed to my daughter. The Toca Doctor app is really simple to play and it appeals to my daughter who’s only 20 months old. Just like a doctor, you will treat ailments by tapping and swiping on the screen. Every time you finished a “treatment”, you will receive cheers and this is a cue for my daughter to say “Yehey!”
I think this is a good game to teach kids about their body arts and introduce the doctor to a child so they will develop a liking to them. While playing, I would tell my daughter how one developed an ailment. Like when we have to get rid of the germs from the teeth. I would tell her the baby did not brush her teeth that’s why she had the germs and we will be the dentist to remove the.
Toca Kitchen Monsters
This is a FREE app and the Monster edition of the Toca Kitchen app. This is an open ended app, without timer and without rules. You have two monsters in the kitchen with different food preferences.
You can choose from 8 ingredients which you can prepare any way you like. You can slice, boil, fry, cook, microwave or blend the ingredients and see which one the monsters like. I would tease my daughter to eat like the monster when I feed her and she would make funny sounds mimicking the sound of the Kitchen Monsters. I had as much fun playing the app with my daughter.