App review- My Play Chef

My Play Chef for the iPad is a fun cooking app.   You can cook pancakes,  pasta and cupcakes and you can make sandwiches.   Each food item has its own set of interactive ingredients.

You tap the egg and it cracks, swipe the butter and it slices, you can tilt or swipe the measuring cup of flour or other items and it pours.   When all the ingredients are in the bowl you stir them and then the batter gets poured into a cupcake pan and put in the oven.  After they are cooked you can decorate them to your hearts content.  There’s plenty of colors of frosting and decorations.  R. is partial to purple.

The pancakes have similar ingredients, but a frying pan shows up instead of an oven and you get to flip the pancake.   When it is cooked, you can add toppings.

You get to select what type of pasta you want to cook.  R. always chooses spaghetti.  The water in the pan “boils” and you “dump” it into a colander.   Like the others, you can add toppings after it is cooked.

R. likes to assemble the sandwiches, she will slice the bread, add all the meats and cheeses, and pull off a lettuce leaf, slice tomato and onion and then she’ll add all the condiments.

You can save your creations for later in the app or in your photo album, or you can “eat” them.   When you select the eat option, each time you tap on the food a bite is taken out.  R. likes this.  I find it kind of ironic, because she will not eat a sandwich or pancakes, she acts like cooked pasta is a pile of eels.  She will only lick frosting off a cupcake.

I did purchase the paid version of this app.  The only difference I can see is that the free version has ads.   R. ended up on the National Guard website, so I figured I better upgrade it.   At $1.99, it is cheaper than any real play food we have.

There are limited options in this app, you can turn off the music and that is it.   For instructions there is a question mark in the upper right corner.  Pressing that will give written instructions.  I think it would be good to have an option that spoke the directions out loud.

It took about a week before R. could do all the steps herself.  You do have to do things in a certain order during the “cooking” process.   Once she had the ability and confidence to do that, the entire program was fun, not just the decorating.    I think this app is great because it is fun, and it also works on motor planning, fine motor skills and even pretend play.

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