Top 2016 toys

Swiping through Sago Mini Robot Party, an app that introduces kids to a cupcake-making wacky robot, instantly sent me down memory lane to school nights spent putting together a cardboard, paint-and-glue robot. I couldn’t help be amazed that a project that once took me all night, is now possible with the tap of a finger.

This educational app from Sago Sago Toys Inc., designed for kids ages 4 and up, makes science playful, intuitive, and even silly. What better way to introduce preschoolers to robots than inviting them to a robot party with Dr. Harvey (a doggie scientist!) and his robots? But along with fun and play, this app also teaches kids to fuse science with art to digitally create a robot, help pick out its robot clothes from a metal wardrobe, help the robot make a cupcake, and even jam with the robot. And although it all sounds pretty robotic—the app is anything but that.

Top 2016 Toys

As soon as kids launch the app, Dr. Harvey gives little Frankenstein’s 58 billion robot combinations to choose from to create their friend. They can give their robots three-eyes, Captain Hook hands, skates for feet, rainbow-colored socks, and lot more madcap options. The app first takes kids to an assembly line of metal torsos to pick the body; then to a hanger lined with heads, hands, and feet; then to a cupcake factory; and finally to a party. As a reward, kids get to take a photograph of their tin friend, and save it to their device’s camera roll.

The best part about the app was the cupcake assembly line. Kids get tons of colors to choose from, can add limitless frosting and sparkles (it’s calorie-free), and get burgers, cheese, and a chewed up apple on the side. I told you the theme is a bit loony!

Overall, the app is intuitive and easy to figure out—dragging, swiping, and tapping is all that’s required. But, parents can help bring out extra creativity by asking questions as kids play along, such as why kids chose certain objects, or even about the likes, dislikes, and personality traits of kids’ new friend. Like all Sago Mini apps, this one encourages kids to interact with the world they live in, so asking questions certainly helps inspire exploration.

The robot that kids learn to build digitally is the same robot that a decade ago kids like me built with recycled items around the house. That after-school playtime activity actually help to teach the value of recycling, and how things could be reused in different ways. This app also teaches that lesson through Dr.Harvey giving kids wacky options like a broken TV to make the robot’s head. After all, even though apps such as Sago Mini Robot Party teach kids that robots are the future, it also teaches kids that recycling is the key to preserving that future.