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      Nov 16, 2017

Category: Blog

The My Town Brand Story
The My Town Brand Story

Inspired by watching their daughters play for hours in front of their dollhouses, Daniel and Mark, the founders of the increasingly popular My Town games series thought to themselves, “what if we could bring this joy to millions of children, all over the world?”

Drawing on everyday life experiences, one of the biggest appeals of My Town is that the apps are designed to inspire open-ended play. Unlike most games which instill competition trying to beat friends high scores, My Town simply lets kids explore various worlds that they already encounter daily. With names like My Town : Home, My Town : School and My Town : Police Station, these aren’t necessarily games in the traditional sense, as much as they are tools to spark children’s creativity and imagination. Every app, designed for children aged 4 and up, is intuitive. You explore what it is like to go on vacations, adopt a pet, work as a firefighter or bring home a new sibling. Almost every item encountered on each screen is something to be held, discovered and interacted with.

The company was founded in 2014 with the release of it’s first app, My Town : Home. In the past 3 years, more than 20 additional games have come out, and downloads are exceeding expectations month after month. The growth is impressive and quick, with a new app launched every month. The most recent, My Town : Pets, is already a favorite amongst children and bloggers, where you can choose various animals to adopt and learn how to care for.

With offices in Israel, Spain, Romania and the Philippines, My Town is a ready-made global brand. You won’t find characters speaking or text on the screen, which can be limiting for children that don’t speak the language various apps are written in.

Parents are fans of My Town too, as once you buy each game, you are offered a lifetime of free updates and no in-app purchases. In an age where children are often more technologically savvy than their parents, you have undoubtedly heard the stories where a child has taken an adults iPad only to surprise their parents with unknown purchases made. My Town has relieved families of this worry and enabled children to simply play.

 

 

 

 

My Town : Pets Helps Children Learn Responsible Pet Ownership
My Town : Pets Helps Children Learn Responsible Pet Ownership

There is nothing like seeing the joy and excitement in your child’s face when they get their first pet. Having a pet is also a good way to teach kids responsibility and learn how to be empathetic to the needs of someone/something outside of themselves.

If your child is under 6, you might want to think about getting them a lower-maintenance pet so they can become accustomed to the responsibilities that come with having a pet. Guinea pigs, hamsters and fish are great starter pets. If your child is a bit older, they might be ready for the dog or cat they have undoubtedly been begging for.

Once your pet is home (congratulations!) you can begin to go through all the needs of the animal, and help children understand why each chore is needed to keep their new pet happy and healthy. Whenever possible, children should be involved in the care, feeding, grooming, and training of the pet. If your children want a dog, explain to them that a dog needs to be fed at least twice per day, have clean water, get daily walks and needs play time in order to thrive. You can help them make a chart of feeding times, and show them how to wash their pets’ dishes once they have finished their food. A dry-erase board is also helpful to write down walk times and have your child “check off” each time they walked their pet.

You will want to take your children along with you to the vet’s office, so they can see how, just like they themselves need to visit their doctor, so does their pet. This may help alleviate any stress or nerves if they get to see first-hand that the vet is there to care for their animal and it isn’t a scary experience.

Responsible pet care is a great learning opportunity to teach children responsibility and how to anticipate, watch and respond to others’ needs. The bond between a child and their pet lasts a lifetime and enriches their lives as nothing else can.

This article is sponsored by the My Town Games, the makers of My Town : Pets.

When you are ready to begin looking at pet adoption, My Town : Pets is perfect practice. The game opens with various pets to choose from, including gerbils, birds, cats and dogs. Each different play area offers a new chance to learn what pets need and how to be responsible pet parents. Once you bring home your pet, the next step is most likely finding and visiting a vet. In the game, your children are able to interact with their pet in a veterinarian’s office, and you can help them prepare for their real pet’s first visit, by showing them in the app what will most likely occur. Whether it is filling their food and water dishes, visiting the pet spa to bathe their pet, or taking them to the dog park with reminders to clean up after their dog, there are many hidden locations for you and your child to invent a new story each time you play.

 

My Town Games Allow Children To Experience Life on Their Terms
My Town Games Allow Children To Experience Life on Their Terms

My Town is a popular series mainly in part due to it’s open ended play. When there are no set game rules, children are able to use each object found in each game as they would like to. There are no specific problems to solve and no pressure to “win.” With no high scores to reach there is no competition, which opens up infinite story-telling possibilities.

Everyone that had a dollhouse growing up can remember the excitement of sitting down in front of it and creating full lives for each character inside of it. My Town is now a digital dollhouse, where your characters can move around to many more rooms in a wide variety of apps the company offers.

By testing out each object found in each room of any of the My Town games, your child is able to release their imagination and creativity, while at the same working on life skills like patience, trial and error and learning to trust themselves and their decisions. Because the games offer a different experience for everyone that plays them, it is up to them to create meaning for each person, item and situation they encounter. Teaching children early on in life to make choices supports their independence as they grow older.

Each game allows children to play with real life scenarios at their own pace, and they are able to make up their own stories about each experiences. Role playing is a big part of open ended play, and gives children ways to explore their feelings and even prepare them for situations they might not feel ready for. Apps such as My Town allows them to tailor their stories to their own experiences. Perhaps some situations were stressful or frustrating to your child, and they were unable to find the ways and means to express their feelings. A good example of this is My Town : Hospital. Were your children readily accepting of bringing a new baby into the house? They can explore that concept in this game and work out their feelings surrounding finding out about the baby while it’s still in their mother’s stomach, and it will offer meaningful learning experiences to explore with them.

As adults, we take for granted that we experience the world on our own terms. But children are often much more limited and live by a set of rules imposed by parents, teachers, other friends…open ended digital play gives them the chance to experience life on their terms.