Common Sense Review
Updated December 2013

My PlayHome Stores

Free-play virtual shopping experience is full of surprises
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Scoop your own ice cream cones.
  • Try on a variety of clothes.
  • Weigh fruits or make a smoothie.
  • Scan and bag groceries.
Highly interactive app stimulates creative play, integrates seamlessly with the original.
No way to take pictures or save/record experiences.
Bottom Line
Available shops are fun to explore, but more would offer a richer experience.
Christy Matte
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

With so many opportunities to do grown-up things (scoop ice cream, weigh veggies, scan groceries, use an ATM), kids are bound to have fun. The app still needs a few more shops and experiences, but it's a good start.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Although these aren't formal learning games, kids will relate to the activities and connect them to their daily lives as they select from a range of shops and characters and follow their interests.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 1

No data is produced or collected, nor is data collection necessary. It would be a plus, however, if there was an in-game way to save scenes or take pictures.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

The app provides an engaging way to get kids talking about their feelings, their families, their communities, and their lives, and can be used to inspire them to create oral or picture stories about their experiences as well. Kids will also enjoy this during indoor recess or as a station choice. 

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What's It Like?

My PlayHome Storesthe sequel to My PlayHome, is a virtual shopping plaza. Characters can visit a clothing store, ice cream shop, produce market, and grocery store. Each shop has lots to do from trying on clothes, to making fruit smoothies, to scanning groceries. Kids will recognize the activities from their experiences as errand tag-alongs. At launch, there are four shops to explore, as well as an ATM that dispenses virtual cash. Keen-eyed kids will also find a mischievous mouse scurrying about. Kids can navigate between the two apps by heading out into the street toward the house/shops. Items purchased in the shops are transported with the characters back to the house. 

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Is It Good For Learning?

This app isn't designed to teach kids to read or do math. Instead, it's a role-playing tool kids can use to explore lfe skills and community workers, practice storytelling, and communicate about their daily lives. The open-ended nature is compelling for kids, and they can easily tie the activities to their own life experiences. Characters show ethnic diversity (three skin tones) and some age diversity (baby, child, adult). My PlayHome Stores isn't goal-oriented, so there are no objectives, rewards, or tracking mechanisms. 

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See how teachers are using My PlayHome Stores