I’m pretty sure my kids have been playing Toca Boca apps almost as long as we’ve had a tablet in the house. The company seems to kick out hundreds of different little games each year – fun, smart, and endlessly quirky. Some Boca apps have a much higher replay value that others (I’ve personally spent hours with Toca Builders) but they’re all great, and they usually only cost a few bucks. My daughter, after years of tap-tap-tapping her Kindle, still spends a lot of her screen time with the Toca Life series.
This subset of Toca Boca apps are based around real word themes – Farm, Hospital, Vacation, School, City, Stable, etc. Each one has a series of locations to explore and a set of goofy little characters to insert and dress up like the cast of a play. Each scene has a ton of things to discover as you tap around, and often a series of actions will trigger unexpected animations or reveal new objects. Kids can make their own little plays with the app, creating stories for the people, or they can just laugh wildly, figuring out if a piece of pizza can be worn like a hat.
I think kids respond to the Toca Life series because they spend so much of their days directed by adults, and these apps provide a chance for them to explore a little world all on their own, interact with it, and direct the action of its characters. The apps are a fun little escape where their mind can wander and find delight.
All of Toca Boca’s apps are available at tocaboca.com and through Apple’s AppStore and Google Play, and through Amazon for the Kindle Fire.