Just about every child likes to play with toys that make noise, balance, topple, float or otherwise interact with the world. Balls bounce, balloons float into the sky and magnets lift metal objects. All of these interactions teach children something the natural world around them.
The beauty of Soup Toys is that it isn't confined to a single Window. When you run it, you have access to a virtual "toybox" where you can pull out the desktop toys that you want to play with. The sides of your computer screen act like walls and the floor. You can build block castles, play with toy cars, or have fun with virtual magnets. The possibilities are limitless.
The Soup Toys Toybox
When you first launch the Soup Toys application, it actually looks very simple and unimpressive. There is just an assortment of objects sorted by category like sports, ted's castle (blocks), souper six (figures and cars), bumble party (balloons and flowers) and much more. As you scroll down you'll quickly realize that the assortment of desktop toys in this virtual toybox makes this application rather impressive.
Taking Out The Toys
What's even more impressive is when you "pull" toys out of the virtual toybox. That object literally appears on your desktop. Tap on the basketball, for example, and it drops to the bottom of your desktop and "bounces" on the floor. You can "hit" the ball with your mouse, or click on it to pick it up and then "throw" it across the screen. It bounces on the walls and eventually gravity pulls it back to the floor where it bounces before coming to rest.
Drag the basketball hoop onto your desktop and it attaches to your desktop with a scoreboard above it. Your goal is to try and "throw" the basketball through the air and into the hoop. It sounds easier than it is! Since the physics are accurate, the harder you throw the higher the basketball will go sailing. The angle that you throw determines whether the ball will go sailing into the air off the top of the screen, or hard against the left "wall" of your desktop.
Lots of Other Desktop Toys
There are so many desktop toys to play with that you could easily spend an entire afternoon just having fun with these objects. They interact with one another in so many fun ways. Pile up a wall of colored balls and then send a roller skate sailing across the floor to topple them over. Better-yet, fill the entire right side of the floor with an assortment of balls and then use various objects to send them all sailing across your desktop. You can just imagine how much fun a toddler or preschooler would have with these virtual desktop toys.
Wide Assortment of Toys
The fun doesn't stop with bouncing balls or rolling objects. The toybox includes other sorts of interactive objects that interact with the desktop as well as each other. Lay things out to touch, push or pull one another and you could create intricate inventions the likes of which you'd find in any science classroom.
Magnets and Gears
The magnets and gears in the toybox are especially impressive. You can line up levers and gears into a chain of interactions that form a large machine, or you can use magnets and small steel balls to watch how magnetic forces interact - such as making objects seemingly float in space. This is a wonderful way to introduce small children to the magical world of science.
Use Any Toy You Like
The great thing about Soup Toys is that whenever you add a desktop toy to the play area, all other toys start interacting with it. You aren't limited to only using toys in one category. This means that kids can place the toy figures from Souper Six into a block castle they've built. Or they can make one of the magnets lift one of the toy cars. The possibilities really are limited only by a child's imagination.
If you want to see some of the possibilities, or you don't want to start out from scratch, you can load one of the ready-made "playsets" that come with the toybox. Just click on the green "play" button and choose a playset from the browse box. There are entire block sets, cannon-shooting games, chain reactions and all sorts of other fun playsets to play around with.
You aren't limited to the pre-loaded playsets that come with the software, you can also visit the Soup Toys website and download one of the many amazing playsets that other users have created. There's an entire community at the Soup Toys website constantly creating playsets. There are so many available that Soup Toys even offers a search engine to find ones that you're interested in playing with!
If you get really good at building playsets of your own, you can even click on the red "record" button at the bottom of the application and save your own playset. If you're especially proud of it, upload it to the Soup Toys community to share with others!
Soup Toys is a unique desktop toy application simply because of the variety of virtual toys that are available and how well the rules of physics apply when the toys interact. It's one of those games that kids are sure to love, and even adults may enjoy as well!
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