Subject: Social Studies, Art
Category: Social Skills, People and Places, Creativity
Toca Boca has once again created an outstanding, open ended creative app.
The aim of this digital toy is to combine dress-up play with the tools for kids to create their own outfits from shapes, patterns and colors around their world. There are four characters to make clothes for. Choose from a boy, girl, lynx or sloth. Tap, swipe and pinch to customize each character’s clothing and accessories. As with most Toca Boca apps, the characters give feedback to kids through facial expressions and sound effects as design choices are made.
A note from the kids: One of our child testers loved putting different animals patterns on his sloth. A sloth with zebra stripes is extremely funny to a four year old boy. See his work on the right of the screen.
What makes the app really special is that you use your device camera to photograph anything around you to be a potential print for your outfit. One of our girls used her device camera to take pictures of her dog’s black and white fur to make clothes.
The parent section has a must see video for you to watch before playing with your child. We know many parents consider apps disposable toys but this app has a long shelf life and is well worth $1.99.
Show What You Know
You can easily stretch Toca Tailor to extend play off the app. Today’s first activity helps you add some math and logic play. The second activity is for helping children read facial expressions.
Activity 1: How Many Outfits?
The objective of this activity is to find as many combinations of outfits possible from cut out clothing.
Steps for getting started:
1. Gather paper, drawing tools and scissors.
2. Cut out a doll pattern (oak tag or cardboard works for your child to reuse again and again). Click here for a pattern we found online.
3. Cut patterns for clothes. We made 2 different colored shirts, pants, and 2 pairs of shoes.
After completing the steps above, crafting your paper clothing patterns, ask your child:
“How many different outfits can you make with 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shoes?”
Set your child off to figure out a strategy for how to solve the problem. Offer suggestions only when necessary. Part of the learning is struggling through to find the answer. To wrap up the activity, document how the problem was solved. Lots of learning happens when kids write and draw how they solved the problem. Grab your “Doodlecast for Kids” app and use the recording feature to draw and share how the problem was solved.
This is an activity designed for children ages 5 and up. Depending on your child’s development, you can modify the activity by adding more or less clothing options. You may also find it necessary to leave out the documentation part of the activity, but we hope you find a way to make it work for your child.
Activity 2: Mind Reading
One of the reasons that Toca Boca apps are so successful is that each playful toy involves characters responding to your child’s choices in the app. Continue encouraging the development of empathy and recognizing the feelings of others with a simple game of mind reading.
Explain that the game you are going to play together is like 20 questions. The special rule is that only the person asking questions is allowed to talk. Think of an item for your child to guess. Choose something simple. With young children, share a theme like “foods” or “games” to get them started.
Encourage your child to ask you yes or no questions to guess what item you are thinking of (most young kids will struggle with the questioning, but it’s fun for them to play anyway). Respond by only making facial expressions that express “yes” or “no.” Take inspiration from Toca Boca by sticking out and buzzing your tongue for “no” or panting and nodding your head for “yes.”