There are just a few kids’ app developers whose products are so trustworthy and consistently on the mark that I buy their latest offerings without hesitation. TribePlay, creators of the Dr. Panda app series for toddlers and preschoolers, is one of them.
From playing doctor, to running a restaurant, to babysitting adorable baby animals, Dr. Panda knows what makes the younger set happy. Dr. Panda Beauty Salon makes preschoolers mini-stylists as they makeover their animal friends with face painting, nail clipping and painting, jewelry creation, and more cheery mini-games that spark creativity.
My daughter, who is a seasoned pro of hair salon pretend play, loved Dr. Panda Beauty Salon from the get-go. The game is open-ended with many activities allowing her time and freedom to play how she chooses for as long as she wants. My four year old brings her customers into the shop and is treated to a variety of mini-games to pamper them. Her favorite, to my surprise, is using tweezers to pluck the nose hairs from her wincing patrons; she had never noticed that people have nose hairs, which led to a fun discussion of why we have them in the first place.
The screens also have some hidden games and Easter eggs, encouraging a small amount of exploration and a way to select favorite activities without waiting for a customer.
My only complaint was the repeated sound effect for the loading screen, which I found could easily be turned off in the parental options.
Dr. Panda’s Beauty Salon is an excellent pastime for toddlers and preschoolers who love to use painting or dress-up apps, getting their creative juices flowing and inspiring a giggle or two. The app is currently priced at $1.99 and is available for the iPhone/iPad and Android.
A promotional copy of the app was provided for review purposes.