BugMath

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
BugMath App Poster Image
Arcade-like gameplay makes practicing arithmetic fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic math, like counting to 100, identifying numbers, matching and sorting, and adding and subtracting. The bugs are visual aids letting kids see the numbers, and since they disappear when counted, they serve as math manipulatives. The Bug Attack section may be too challenging for kids' fine motor skills, making that section impossible for a younger kid to complete, and Plus Minus Bugs crashes frequently. The Counting Game, Big & Small, and Matching are excellent games that are fun and developmentally appropriate. Despite a few bugs, kids can learn to count and build basic math skills with BugMath.

Ease of Play

Most of the gameplay is very intuitive, but there are a couple of places with a slight learning curve. In Bug Attack!, you have to drag the creature back and forth across the screen to line it up for shooting at the bugs. This wasn't explained in the directions. In Counting Game, tracing the numbers and number words doesn't work very well. Tapping the spots works better, but the purpose here is to learn to write the numbers and words.

Violence & Scariness

One of the included games, Bug Attack!, has the user shooting at bugs, causing them to disappear. There is nothing graphic, but it is clear that the idea is to eliminate the bugs.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BugMath is an early elementary, math-based education app that teaches counting, addition, subtraction, ordering, and matching through tapping, tracing, and dragging on the screen. Some of the controls aren't as intuitive as you might expect, and it is easy to complete the five parts of this game in one sitting. The colorful bugs will be appealing to kids, however, and the math concepts are sound.

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What's it about?

Alien Ug-ug has crashed his spaceship on a planet full of bugs. Kids count bugs, zap bugs, match bugs, order bugs by size, and practice addition and subtraction. The game is based upon the Singapore Math method, which relies on pictures to teach math at early levels. The bugs serve as those pictures. Kids are rewarded with stickers after completing each section.

Is it any good?

BUGMATH will help your early elementary kids practice their basic math skills in a fun and interactive way. It teaches solid concepts in a number of early math areas, and the arcade-like gameplay is exciting for kids. However, there are limited levels available and some of the controls need improvement. Still, practicing the available levels repeatedly will help drill your kids on counting to 100, even numbers, odd numbers, arithmetic, and more. The premise of this game is that a creature named Ug-ug has crash-landed his ship on a planet inhabited by bugs. He earns stickers for his space ship with each game that is completed. Kids help him work his way through the games by counting to 100, counting even and odd numbers to 100, writing digits and words for numbers 11 to 20, putting bugs in order by size and number, adding and subtracting, and matching by memory.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Count things together -- grapes at snack time, steps on a staircase, etc.

  • Point out instances when you use basic math with your kid in everyday life: while cooking, driving, or paying for an item with cash.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, counting, numbers
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, problem solving, thinking critically
  • Price: $1.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: November 21, 2010
  • Category: Education
  • Publisher: Zixxe Pte. Ltd.
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later; Android 1.5 and up

For kids who love math

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