Let the Building Begin
With Sago Mini Toolbox, kids buckle on a virtual tool-belt and use eight different tools to build things, including a seesaw, a computer, a scooter, puppets and a puppet theatre, and a rocket ship. There are 15 projects to explore.
How to Play
The opening scene shows one of the Sago Mini animal or robot friends holding the materials for a building project. Kids can tap on the friend shown, or scroll to the right or left to choose from any of the 15 projects.
Once a project is selected, tools appear on the screen in a predetermined order for kids to use. For example, if you select the little bird wearing a roof on her head, the project starts with using a measuring tape to mark boards for cutting. Kids touch the measuring tape and then slide their finger sideways to the right. As they do, they see inches on the measuring tape and a pencil appears to draw lines on the piece of wood lying above the tape. Next, a drill appears. Touching the drill makes it start to whirl. If kids touch and slide it to the right, the drill bores into a piece of wood. After drilling two holes, kids see a hammer appear, poised above a nail. Tapping anywhere on the screen makes the hammer come down on the nail. Pounding in several nails completes the project; and kids see the bird playing with the newly constructed playhouse.
Other tools that appear in the projects include a saw, needle and thread, air pump, wrench, and scissors. Each tool is simple to use and creates its own musical sound. When kids complete a project, they can scroll through the possibilities to see what they want to explore next.
Sago Mini Toolbox is an adorable way to get kids tinkering. By having an animal or robot friend introduce your child to a project, the player feels as if he or she is building with a friend.
The tools, each with its own musical riff, are simple to operate and satisfying to use. Each project has a sense of mystery because all kids see are a friend and some supplies. Only by working with the tools can kids discover and feel ownership over the project that is built. The app allows for multi-touch, so friends and siblings can tinker together. Some of the completed projects include, a swing set, a tricycle, a computer, a rocking horse, a kite, a basketball net, and a go-kart.
Would-be builders get a good introduction to how tools are necessary to build things. What the app doesn't do is let kids see the big picture. There's a little disconnect between the tasks they do and the end result. For example, in the case of the playhouse, kids help draw lines on wood but don't then saw it. And the app doesn't show schematics, so kids don't get a sense of how building projects flow. Nevertheless, Sago Mini Toolbox is fun as a primer for building.
Sago Mini Toolbpx
works well for both girls and boys who like to pretend they are building things. It's a great fit for kids who like to repair, mend, or fiddle with toys because the app plays into their desire to fix and build things.
If your kids like playing with these characters, they appear in the other Sago Mini apps. Here is a rec list of the Best of Sago Sago Apps
.This Sago Mini Toolbox app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.