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Free play and creativity with the apps from Toca Boca

2 minutes reading time
3-10 years
Tool description
© Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Toca Boca ‘s colorful and creative game apps are popular with younger children. For example, there is Toca Nature, Toca Life: Farm or Toca Hair Salon. So far, Toca Boca has developed over 20 different games. In these apps, children can freely create their own worlds and play any stories.

The makers advertise that children are involved in the development of the apps. Children test the app in advance and make suggestions for improvement. All apps are free from content unsuitable for children. In doing so, the game developers are taking up the demand of various children’s rights organizations to consider children and their rights in the development of products for children.

In a nutshell:

  • Game apps for Android and iOS
  • Pedagogical recommendation: from preschool age; recommended from 4 years in the app stores
  • Costs vary depending on the app (free or paid)
  • largely ad-free and usable offline
  • includes in-app purchases

What can it do?

All Toca Boca apps are about creativity and free play. There are no levels or goals that must be completed in a certain amount of time.

After downloading the app, users move freely in the respective world and shape it as they wish. There are different play figures, which the child can choose for themselves by appearance and characteristics. In some rooms, the child can complete tasks. Most of the time, however, there are no specific instructions.

What fascinates children about it?

Kids can make up their own stories and worlds and create them in the app. By creating different play environments and taking on different roles, children are encouraged to keep playing. There is no text in the colorful worlds. The children can look around and discover a lot about seeing.

What can be problematic about the offer?

The privacy policy of the app promises that no third-party advertising is included. However, Toca Boca advertises other apps of its own. Therefore, children can be tempted to want to play similar apps. The apps also store data, such as game duration and progress, and share it with Google Analytics. Parents’ data is also collected when they purchase something from the Toca Boca store, activate notifications or subscribe to the newsletter. Data deletion can be requested by sending an email to dpo@spinmaster.com.

Most apps are free to download, but offer in-app purchases. With these, kids can theoretically unlock new characters, stations, or gifts in some of the apps if a credit card is on file on the device.

What does the provider think?

Toca Boca is a Swedish game developer and therefore bound by EU data protection laws. Toca Boca claims to comply with the PRIVO seal. This seal is awarded by an independent organization that is committed to protecting children’s data online. The app promises not to collect personal data from children.

What should parents pay attention to?

Since the apps were developed especially for younger children, you should accompany the first steps of use – also to familiarize yourself with the functions of the apps. It is advisable to set game times, as the apps do not impose time limits and can be played practically endlessly. On the other hand, free play is easier to interrupt than in level games.

Talk to the child in advance about the function of in-app purchases and deactivate them or do not store payment data to prevent accidental purchases.

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