Storytelling with Toca Life
By Willow Mellbratt, Toca Boca Play Designer
I remember a friend telling me a method she used when working at an elder-care home. They had trouble getting a particular resident to go to bed. This resident would always think she was on a ship, going on a journey, and “bed” didn’t fit into the story. One night my friend decided to just play along. After a while she remarked how choppy it was at sea, and perhaps they should pull in to port — i.e. the bedroom. Her playmate amicably agreed.
Now while there is an underlying motive to my friend’s method, in giving up her own version of reality in order to play and join in on another’s, she learned to see things from the resident’s point of view. She learned empathy.
Storytelling and role-play is a great way of building empathy and trust. We frequently used it at IDEO to put ourselves in the shoes of those we were designing for. Three of my favorite Toca Boca apps are the ones in the Toca Life Series: Toca Life: Town, Toca Life: City and Toca Life: School. These apps are great storytelling tools for kids. If you play them as an adult you usually don’t get it. But when you watch a child play, it suddenly all becomes clear. Stories are being built in the child’s mind.
Category: Digital Play, Imaginative Play
Target age: 4 and up
Skill level: Beginner
Materials: Stuff you probably have at home
Prep time: None: Be spontaneous!
What You’ll Need
- apps from the Toca Life series