BSW day 7: Investigating the iPad

Ok, ok. Tenuous at best. Today was an unproductive, disorganised day. We’ve all got colds, Boybug was up for 3 hours in the night, and I just didn’t have a science experiment in me! I’ve done no housework either, and thought if I added a messy science experiment to the mix my husband might complain!

So when Girlbug got home, also exhausted and full of cold, we got the iPad out. Luckily we have a game that fits the science bill for British Science Week.

We have a series of games from Toca Boca. They’re lovely, engaging games, with great graphics. They aren’t strictly educational and they certainly won’t teach your child phonics or to count to 100. But they do encourage a child to explore, to role play, and I really rate their open-ended simplicity. There’s no winning with these games, and not really any rules, play is more akin to a wander through the park than a race.

We’ve got a few now, they’re just under £3.00 on the iPad, also available on Android. Some of Girlbug’s favourites are:

  • Toca boo: Girlbug loves to be a ghost. She explores the haunted house for ages, flicking light switches, flushing toilets and generally putting the occupants on edge. Until eventually she chooses her victim and “BOOOOOO!”
  • Toca Kitchen: Try to feed the monster raw egg and he’ll pull a face, how about a steak? Girlbug plops it into the blender, but the monster isn’t keen. Instead she puts a potato in the oven. “MMMMMMM” confirms the monster.
  • Toca House: Even though Girlbug doesn’t seem able to tidy away her own toys, give her a virtual house and she’ll happily do any chore going. Moving from room to room she’ll help out any of the characters go about their daily routine. A spot of gardening, a bit of hoovering, mopping the floor.

Boybug likes Toca Train. He can watch the train go round for as long as you let him. Stopping to pick up cargo or passengers and dropping them off at the next station.

And finally, the science one:

Toca lab

I love this game! Presented with a picture of the periodic table, you can choose one of 118 elements. Then freeze or boil, pop it in the centrifuge or attach electrodes and watch it transform. Girlbug likes to work her way around the periodic table in a haphazard fashion. Watch the trailer here, it’s fab!

So, that’s all we managed today. I blame science. If there were a cure for the common cold we would have done something much more adventurous. Fingers crossed for a sleep-fuelled, snot-free, science-focused weekend!

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