Sprinkle simple wooden blocks with a bit of modern magic and the result is Toca Blocks, an app that turns traditional construction play on its head. Yet another digital toy from the award-winning Toca Boca studio, Toca Blocks provides players with a rudimentary landscape and a few base elements from which they can experiment and create. The app combines simple blocks with Minecraft-like world-building elements, giving users room to exercise their imaginations with a blank canvas and seemingly endless possibilities. Toca Blocks is as kid-friendly as it gets, with no inappropriate content, no ads, and even some parental controls. Though made for younger kids, older siblings and even parents might find the app alluring, making Toca Blocks one that we recommend for ages 4 and older.
THIS APP IS GOOD FOR KIDS WHO NEED HELP WITH:
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
Toca Blocks is an app that encourages creativity and experimentation, both of which call upon the flexibility thinking skill. Users begin with a world that is minimally developed--a few basic blocks and sprites at their disposal--and with no tutorial. But as they begin to explore the environment, they will inevitably discover that a wide array of patterns and even objects are created as they merge different blocks. Welcoming whatever comes of experimentation and going with the flow plays a large part in this digital free play, and it all comes back to cognitive flexibility.
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
Experimentation in the app adds an extensive number of new blocks and items to inventory, and children will quickly move on to make more complex structures. This challenges working memory in a couple of ways. They'll depend on working memory to stay focused on whatever they are building (or drawing), keeping in mind which block they may have wanted and their plans for it. (Deviations from these plans are good exercises in cognitive flexibility.) As well, because of the numerous possible combinations of blocks and items, children will find that they rely on their memory of what-makes-what nearly as much as they will rely on their actual inventory sidebar.
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