Safari Toy Factory – introducing kids to production processes
Many children want to know how toys are made and even more dream about visiting a toy factory. Some children may not yet be aware of the fact that their favourite toy was made from different individual parts and from various materials. Offering them an opportunity to see the production process from a concept to a complete product will not only be exciting and even magical, but will definitely help children better understand the world around them. Seeing how things are made may naturally spark the “why” and “how” questions as children start to notice that things around must have been made from parts and pieces put together.
There are a few apps that aim at introducing children to production processes by showing how toys are made. Some of them present the whole idea by showing individual production steps in detail while others are more simplified and focus on certain aspects of the process.
Safari Toy Factory by Harold Hemmings is an app that presents the concept of assembly line where your kids will be able to see parts of toy wild animals move on a conveyor belt. Their task will be first to identify correct pieces of a wild animal and then put them together. Once it’s done a claw crane collects the toy and moves it to a huge wooden box. As the game doesn’t show what happens after that, you may encourage your child to try to predict the next steps. You may talk about it or ask your child to draw the next steps including the package design for each toy. Perfect places to see fully operational conveyor belts are airports, supermarkets and sometimes shopping malls.
Safari Toy Factory is a fast paced game making it more suitable for children who don’t mind or like the competitive play mode. Making the toy elements bigger would make the app more suitable for younger children and more child-friendly in general. And adding a relaxed play mode would help create more personalised experience. To serve as an educational tool the app content needs to be backed up with a set of appropriate mini-games or tasks which would help children understand the whole production process even better.