When my kids were infants they HATED the drive-through car wash. In fact, they disliked everything about the car – riding in it, talking about, going remotely near it. Now my husband sells classic and antique cars and the kids are obsessed with all things vehicle-related. I would venture to say that they know more about what goes on under the hood than I do.
Since it’s not really safe to let them tinker under the hood of a ’67 Fastback Mustang, there’s My Little Work – Garage. It’s an intuitive, multi-age app that lets young players tinker until their little hearts are content. Customers drive in for a service, and leave with anything from a new tires to a refilled tank of gas; as the cars exit they pay for the work done and that money can be used to add to the shop’s inventory. Other additions to the cars can be done (for free) like new paint jobs or even fancy tires or headlights.
Game play is incredibly easy and intuitive. A simple honk lets kiddos know that drivers are waiting outside the garage door to enter for service. Picture bubbles pop up, showing what needs to be done on the car, and tapping the bubbles moves the car into the right area. There are both “boy” and “girl” garage workers, proving that playing with cars isn’t just for the boys. The multi-player race tracks let up to four players race around one of three separate tracks. This helps to boost social interaction and builds on sharing skills.
My kids’ favorite part of the game is the car customization mini-game. They can look around a junkyard and pic the car body and then take it to the “shop” to make it their own creation. My daughter is 3 and loves the heart-shaped airbrush paint, and my son (he’s 5) likes to add tailfins and spiked tires to pretty much every car that he works on. Without a point or star scoring system, and without time limits to add to the frustration, they can play this app for hours if I let them.
At $1.99 this little app is quite fairly priced in relation to the content it offers. It intuitively teaches some important early-learning skills while offering young payers a user-friendly interface. There are no IAPs, prompts to share on social media, or distracting in-game ads. For such little work, this app is big fun!