Toca Boca and digital toys

Over the Easter weekend I got to see my lovely niece and nephews, and as part of that was introduced to some cool iPad apps for kids.  Some of these are made by the company Toca Boca, who makes ‘digital toys’ for children rather than just games.

One of their apps is Toca Hair Salon, which lets you cut and trim hair with scissors and electric trimmers, blow-dry, wash and shampoo and even hair dye or add hair restorer.  It’s completely hilarious to use, particularly when it comes to using the hair drier, and is a bit like a digital version of a hairdressing mannequin head you might find in an early years role-play area.  Or there is the Toca Tea Party which lets you lay out a complete tea party and then consume it, including drinking the tea (or knocking it over…all virtually of course!).

I think what I like about the apps is that they let you the child explore them in a non-linear and play-based manner, rather than prescribing the route through a game.  A LEGO kit might have instructions for how to build it, but the way it ends up being played with is as open as a child’s imagination.  Go have a try!

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