Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lil Shopper - Why Can't Shopping Be This Easy?

Lil' Shopper by Thinking Garden

Choose from a range of food options to fill a healthy plate; then go shopping for those items. Developed in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture, as part of the campaign, this app will help children learn healthy food choices and what constitutes a balanced meal.

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External link to other apps

Sweet jazz music greets your child as s/he opens the app. A male or female character then asks the player to drag items from the cloud (choosing only one item from a choice of two at a time). The icon in the bottom corner highlights the portion of the meal that is being filled at the time. Five different food groups are covered: Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, Grains and Dairy. Two items are chosen for each food group, except dairy which gets one and then it's time to go shopping!

The player traces a line from "home" to the store (trying not to crash into other vehicles driving along) and then chooses a cart to use in the store. The choice of carts increases (to a maximum of 25) as "missions" are completed. Once in the "store," items are dragged from the shelf to the cart, according to what is displayed in the shopping list at the top of the screen. Once all the items are collected, it's time to go to the checkout.

At the checkout, all items are scanned, regardless of whether they were on the shopping list or not, and every item costs $0.50. This is a great way to practice skip counting by 0.5. The shopping is then paid for, the car driven home again and then the groceries unpacked and put away according to whether they need to be refrigerated or not.

Of course, an app like this is not going to replace a real trip to the store with your child, but it could be a good lead up to that, and a way of continually discussing shop visits and what's involved. There's lots of language that could be learned/practiced with this app and the ChooseMyPlate icon is a good launching pad for discussions on healthy eating and food portion sizes.

From iTunes:
*** We are aware of the random crash problems on iOS 7 and are working to put out a fixed version as soon as possible ***

Lil' Shopper is a fun and exciting virtual grocery shopping game that teaches and reinforces a well balanced diet and good nutrition. Your child starts by making his/her own shopping list choosing healthy foods from each food group. After a whacky car trip to the store, they get to shop in the grocery store with the chance to earn bonus items like cool shopping carts and fun fridge magnets for sticking to the assigned bonus mission (centered around good nutrition of course). After completing the shopping list, it is off to the checkout line where they scan and bag the groceries. Once they get home from another fun return car ride, they help the family by putting all the groceries where they belong. Finally, they can play with the fridge magnets they have earned. They can complete more shopping trips and missions to earn access to even more cool carts and fun magnets. With Lil' Shopper, you can have your little helpers help you with the shopping any time and anywhere. It is a fun, yet educational game your child can play on their own or even better while mimicking you doing the regular grocery store trips you have to make. Start your kids off right and reinforce good nutrition and healthy eating.

Feature Highlights:

•44 healthy food items
•4 bad junk food items to avoid
•Completing missions unlocks:
⁃Up to 25 cool cart choices to spark your child's imagination and role playing
⁃Up to 10 fun fridge magnets for your child's enjoyment
•Whacky sound effects throughout the game
•Finger controlled car rides to and from the store with cross traffic to increase the fun
•Checkout line complete with conveyor belt and virtual infrared scanner

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Cas really hates shopping and wishes it was this easy!

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