What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big Kid Life Vet is one of a series of apps by Fingerprint that lets kids try out different jobs while also practicing basic educational skills, such as logic and geometry, letter and shape identification, and phonics. Kids are assigned to certain "patients" including an octopus, dog, and panda. They must take care of them by performing X-rays and playing games. Fingerprint has (optional) free features that parents can use to communicate with their kids via the app and keep track of what their kids are playing. There is a fair amount of advertising for other Fingerprint apps on this app; nothing too overwhelming or out of the norm for a free app, though.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
Veterinarians are an easy win for kids, and not only are they in charge of the office, they get to comfort and examine animals and help them by answering questions.
Quizzes about shapes, letters, and pictures are age-appropriate and couched in the fun environment of a vet's office.
Kids get plenty of hints, and the correct answer flashes if they're having too much trouble. Teachers or parents get skills reports over email.
What's it about?
Kids become vets who help sick animals by practicing preschool skills. Parents help with the initial setup and can use the app for three different children. Kids choose their avatar, level of difficulty, and which of three patients to help first. They calm the animal using a described motion on the touch screen. Then kids X-ray the animal patient by dragging the scanner over the animal. The X-ray opens the challenge, which instructs kids to identify the specified object or shapes, or letters or letter sounds, depending on the level.
Is it any good?
Kids love pretending what it will be like to have certain jobs when they grow up, and veterinary medicine is a popular "what I want to be" choice. BIG KID LIFE VET allows very young kids to play vet on an app, while also giving them some practice in basic educational skills through simple games built into the app. What's great about this app is that when a kid performs well on a game (finding shapes and objects, for example), the animal they are taking care of is given treats or somehow otherwise feels better, so kids get a sense of connection between learning and positive results beyond the typical games for kids where they earn points to "buy" pretend stuff. As a result, learning means helping, not just increased ability to buy stuff. This app is one of a series of similarly crafted apps by Fingerprint, a developer that has come up with ways for parents to manage a child's apps, see what they're playing and learning, and send and receive personal messages back and forth with their kid through the app (optional).
Families can talk about...
Steer kids who enjoy imaginative play, especially those interested in playing doctor or vet, to this app.
Take advantage of the app's innovative communication tools by sending encouraging voice messages to your kids and tracking their progress.
Mimic the app's premise and incorporate preschool skills into imaginative play.