Playing dress-up may seem like all fun and games, but did you know that it’s actually a great activity for kids? As they immerse themselves in playing dress-up, kids have the opportunity to be creative and imaginative. They also learn one or two skills that are essential later in life, such as trying to understand what’s it like walking in someone else's shoes.
If your juniors love dress-up games, then we have a feeling that she might like Mini-U: Boutique, which happens to be our app pick for today. Developed by PopAppFactory, it is a simple and lovely dress-up game for young kids.
Mini-U: Boutique comes with four lovely female dolls, each with her own name and distinct look. Shared between these dolls is an extensive collection of wardrobe to adorn them up from head to toe.
To play, first you need to choose a doll. The app will then take you to a screen which contains your selected doll plus all the clothes to dress her with. The clothes are organized into suitcases according to their types, for example tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, accessories, costume sets, etc. Each suitcase contains at least ten articles, and you can mix and match articles to create completely unique looks.
To dress your doll, tap on a suitcase and drag the article you want onto your doll. To remove an article, just drag it back into the suitcase. You can also change the backdrop for your doll, although it is not possible to use your own pictures at the time I reviewed the app.
If you are feeling stuck or in need of an inspiration, the app has a “style wizard” feature that automatically creates a random, stylish look for you. You can then build upon that look or even generate a completely new one by tapping on the hat icon.
Once you are happy with a look that you put together, you can take a snapshot of your doll by tapping on the camera icon on the top right corner of the screen. You can save the picture to your camera roll, or share it with other Boutique fashionistas around the world by uploading it to the global album.
Once saved, you can change your dolls’ names from your album. Simply tap on the snapshot of a doll that you would like to rename, and tap on her name to bring up the keyboard.
Things I Like
You may remember that a few months back, we reviewed an app called Mini-U: Zoo Alphabet, also by the same developers. These apps are part of the same Mini-U series, which focus on providing kids with interactive and fun digital toys.
Judging from the app’s gameplay and contents, Mini-U: Boutique is mostly geared towards young girls. The dolls included are all female. A notable feature is that each doll represents a different racial group, which I appreciate.
I would also like to point out that the app is free of ads and in-app purchases. However, parents should note that an Internet connection is required to browse the global album and to upload snapshots of your dolls.
Things I Like
Like PopAppFactory’s other apps, Mini-U: Boutique is a lovely app that does exactly what it sets out to do. It is very simple and straightforward to play; there are no complicated instructions, timers, or scores — just endless, fun-filled gameplay.
Visually, the app is excellent. The dolls and dresses look cute, and I particularly like the way they are drawn to resemble vintage paper dolls. The dolls are also not completely static — they animate a bit and make noises — but I do wish that they were more interactive.
Finally, a feature that I was surprised to find is the ability to send an email containing a link to a printable PDF file of all the dolls and the clothes in the app. Once printed, you can cut them out and play with them offline. I think this is a really nice way to encourage kids to have other activities outside the iPad.
Mini-U: Boutique is a great app for young girls who love to play dress-ups. The app does what it sets out to do and is very simple to use. It also looks lovely, and it has quite an extensive collection of dolls and clothes to play with. Overall, I think this app would make a nice addition to your little fashionista’s collection.
Get Mini-U: Boutique on the App Store.
Thank you to PopAppFactory for providing us with the app!
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