Recently we have been witnessing the emergence of a new generation of apps that enable our juniors to be more creative. Some of them try to mimic real-world activities, while others try to be inventive. Personally, I love apps that highlight daily activities that our juniors could easily relate to. Hence, I’m glad to find a new app that does just that: Kid e-Cook from Chocolapps.
It’s Cooking Time!
Kid e-Cook is an iPad app that allows your juniors to practice basic cooking skills based on 16 recipes with varying complexity. They can start by making simple recipes such as Sliced Strawberry and Caramel Sauce and move to more complex ones such as Semolina Pudding and Chocolate Cake.
As you start the app, you will be greeted with a list of recipes that you can create. You are not required to start from the top, but the complexity increases gradually as you move from one recipe to the next. As you browse through the list, you can find information such as preparation time, cooking time, serving size, and the required ingredients.
After you select a recipe that you want to make, the app switches to kitchen mode. On the left hand side, you will see a white refrigerator and a purple cupboard. Inside the cupboard you will find cooking ingredients such as salt, sugar, vanilla pod, chocolate bar, flour, cake/tart mold, and rice. If you look inside the refrigerator, you will find eggs, mineral water, orange juice, milk, butter and a variety of fruits like strawberry, kiwi, orange, apple, pineapple, and banana.
On top of the kitchen table, you will find utensils such as rolling pin, knife, mixer and spatula. On the right hand side, you have access to the hotplate and the oven that you will need to cook certain recipes. As you walk through each instruction of a recipe, the app will guide you to prepare the ingredients, measure them properly, use the correct utensils, cook, and then prepare the result.
Here’s an example of a simple recipe to make some Caramel Sauce:
Measure 9 oz sugar and set aside
Measure 0.33 fl oz water
Take the pan, add the sugar and water
Turn the hotplate on, take the spatula, and whisk
Turn the hotplate off and allow it to cool
The actual steps are much finer-grained than what I outline here. The app really guides you one step at a time. It even shows subtle hints if you can’t seem to find the ingredients. As you progress through the more complex recipes, you can interact with more items.
Parents Need to Know
Kid e-Cook supports up to seven different languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. When you switch the in-app language, you will see the instructions for the recipe switch language too. The only thing that os missing from the app is a narrator in any of the seven languages. This limits the usage of the app to juniors ages seven and up who may be fluent enough to read the instructions by themselves.
The app itself is quite playable by juniors ages three and up, provided that you assist them with the reading. It doesn’t take long for them to memorize where each ingredient can be found, but it will take an adult to guide them on what to do next.
Kid e-Cook is a perfect gateway for your next parent-junior activity where you can invite your juniors to help you cook a meal. Based on my personal experience, juniors as young as two years old can already help out in washing the ingredients, such as fruits or potatoes. And, they tend to be more willing in eating the meal that they help preparing.
Things I Like
I really like the detailed steps that the app includes for each recipe. For a complex recipe, this would mean a long process of preparing and cooking for a single meal. But, the experience and the result are really worth the effort.
The app also clearly illustrates some of these steps, which in turn can really help you in understanding what you need to do in a real cooking activity. For example, there are many recipes that require you to pick up the spatula and perform a whisking gesture to mix the ingredients.
Another example is when the app requires you to wait for the meal to cool off before storing it in a jar or presenting it for dinner. My favourite example is when you break an egg, the app clearly puts the egg yolk on the left hand crack and the egg white on the right hand crack. Depending on the instruction, you may be required to put in the egg yolk only, the egg white only, or both of them.
Finally, if you want to compare the recipes in the app with the ones that you can find on the internet, you will be surprised that they are somewhat comparable. Granted, the recipes in this app are much simpler because they are meant for illustration purposes but they really work.
Kid e-Cook is a wonderful activity app that allows you and your juniors to play as a cook preparing meals for everyone else in the house. The app displays a detailed set of step-by-step instructions for each recipe, and includes a diverse set of ingredients and utensils that you can interact with. Kid e-Cook is a perfect gateway for introducing the wonderful and exciting world of cooking to your juniors. I highly recommend it.
Thank you to the wonderful people at Chocolapps for sharing the app with us. I had a lot of fun playing it. The app is really really good! Great job, guys!