App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2015
Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game
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Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game

Creative recipes add up to counting fun, with hybrid toys or not

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Learning rating
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Based on 3 reviews
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Subjects & Skills
Math, Creativity, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Kids can play with or without the manipulative toys.

Cons: No learning supports, reports, or curricular alignment.

Bottom Line: Free counting app works better without pricey companion toys.

Teachers can offer Tiggly Chef as a center option for kids to play during free time or for additional practice. Kids can learn basic addition up to ten with the support of on-screen visuals and the manipulatives. They'll count objects and add them to recipes. Kids also have the opportunity to use their imaginations, creating their own crazy concoctions and then making them, extending their creativity and applying what they've learned. As an added learning opportunity, kids will also learn the names of foods -- fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients that may or may not be familiar to them, like kiwi and shrimp.

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Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game is a counting game for preschoolers that can be played either as a traditional app using fingers as counters or as a hybrid toy with the Tiggly Count toys, which retail for $29.99 and can be played with Tiggly Chef: Preschool Math Cooking Game, Tiggly Cardtoons: Learn to Count with 25 Interactive Stories, and Tiggly Addventure: Number Line & Math Learning Game for Preschool. When kids first open the game, they can choose to play by hand or with the toys. If they choose toys, they'll have to unlock that version of the game using the toys the first time they play. Kids also can switch in the middle of a game through the settings.

The Master Chef helps kids learn to be great chefs, guiding them through three different levels of math games, each progressively more challenging. Kids start by following instructions and counting items to add to a bowl. They can add items with their fingers -- tapping each item individually or using several fingers to select several at once -- or use the Tiggly Counters. The second and third levels have kids following wacky recipes to create dishes like "hot shrimp apple twist." Kids then eat the item by tapping it and record their descriptions of how each concoction tasted.

Hybrid toys are exciting and new, but kids may be pretty disappointed: It's tricky for little hands to get the toys lined up just right, and they don't reliably register on the device. Fortunately, the whole experience works great using fingers, so kids can switch modes mid-game (or play the free app even without the toys, at least at the time of review.) Kids can tap multiple objects at once, using several fingers, so they can work on adding one by simply tapping with one finger or adding multiples by tapping with two or three fingers.

Overall Rating


The silly chef will delight kids with his crazy food combinations, and kids have the chance to create their own recipes. The novelty of using the toy counters may wear off quickly, but kids can still play without them.


The Tiggly Counts toys put counting manipulatives in kids' hands, which they can use to help solve problems offscreen or to interact with the app. Kids can practice grouping without the toys too.


Three levels gradually increase the challenge, and kids and parents can see the progression. Play is available in 10 languages, so kids can practice in their native language in one they're learning.

Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Susan K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Bishop Elementary School
Bishop, United States
Tiggly Chef: Identify and Compose Numbers to Ten
I was very impressed with this Tiggly product. To clarify, you don't need the game pieces to play Tiggly Chef with full functionality . The premise of the game is to add a given number of food items to make a recipe. Three levels of difficulty are included. Students begin by identifying the correct number of items up to five listed in the recipe, followed by identifying numbers by making sums to ten. Students are able to compose two- and three-number combinations of ten by using two or three Tiggly num ...
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