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For Grown-Ups

Welcome to our design letter

Toca Store is a store play set that triggers your child’s imagination and inspires role-playing. We wanted to create a toy that can be included in children’s natural exploration of everyday life and help them to master social and mathematical skills. That’s Toca Store!

Toca Store lets the players try out the roles of storekeeper and customer. It is preferably played by two players, but works fine for a single child too.

Let your child prepare the store inventory by choosing products in the product catalog and then invite you and other family members or friends to start shopping!

First introduction to math
Your child probably already knows how to count to ten. Toca Store is a great way to learn new skills such as counting down, addition and subtraction. The five digits on the cash register are meant for your child to take his or her first steps in these areas, with out things getting too complicated. Help him or her by asking questions such as: How much do I have left in my wallet? Will this product be cheaper or more expensive than the previous one?

How does money work?
In Toca Store, like anywhere else, buying inexpensive products makes a limited amount of money last longer. These are things you need to learn from practice. Your reactions to prices set by your child will teach him or her things such as that a high price could deter a customer from shopping or that someone might expect less from an inexpensive product. Talk about why some things cost more than others. When the funny wallet magically finds some more coins to make your last transaction even up – have a laugh and discuss why that doesn’t happen in real life.

Practice social interaction
We noticed that the kids who first played with their parents later introduced more advanced argumentation and negotiation when playing with kids their own age.

These are some discussions overheard in our user tests:

  • How much do the dolls cost?
  • The bananas have to be so expensive because it’s a whole bunch of them!
  • I don’t have so much money left, do you have anything on discount today?
  • Now I’ll have some chicken legs to go with the spaghetti.

You as a grown-up can expand the interaction by introducing useful lines! Why are you buying a specific product – is it a present or are you planning to cook something special?

Cooperation and turn taking is essential. Who is in charge of the cash register and who puts the products in the bag? Make up your rules together and don’t forget to change sides now and then!

Have fun!

– Chris Lindgren, Play Designer

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