Bugs and Buttons
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bugs and Buttons is a collection of 18 educational and entertaining games with buttons and (very realistic!) bugs. The games involve racing, counting, sorting, finding patterns, a slingshot, tic-tac-toe, connecting dots, navigating a maze, steering, matching, and completing letter sequences. Most of the games involve both buttons and eight different bugs: ants, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies, ladybugs, roaches, and tarantulas. Succeeding in the games helps kids win stamps of the bugs to collect in a book. The realistic graphics might frighten or unnerve young children, but the games may help them feel more comfortable with insects. The games are both educational and entertaining. The difficulty range within each game and across the games means the app can be played and enjoyed by preschoolers and early elementary kids alike.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
The wide assortment of games and the increasing difficulty level within each game gives the app a lot of entertainment value -- so long as kids aren't too squeamish about pinching a tarantula or two!
Most games have multiple rounds, with visual and audio feedback guiding kids toward the correct steps. Many puzzles adapt to how well kids do. Kids are empowered to choose the games they want to play.
Visual instructions demonstrate how to play the games. High scores translate into stamps that are collected in a stamp book. Better progress tracking for parents would give the app a boost.
What's it about?
In Bugs and Buttons, a collection of 18 games, kids will tap and drag bugs and buttons around the screen to achieve various goals. Several puzzles focus on recognizing numbers, letters, colors, and patterns, while others -- like tic-tac-toe, a maze, and a racing game -- rely on more subtle learning components like prediction. An animated tutorial demonstrates the steps to take, and kids try until they succeed, gradually proceeding to more difficult levels and eventually winning insect stamps for a digital stamp collection.
Is it any good?
BUGS AND BUTTONS is a very neat set of games. The wide assortment of games and the increasing difficulty level within each game gives the app a lot of entertainment value, which makes the educational components more subtle and effective. For kids who are achievement-driven, the simple stamp collection may feel a little boring. Still, this app has a lot to offer kids in a wide age range -- as long as they're not too squeamish about pinching a tarantula or two!
Families can talk about...
Set specific, attainable goals, such as collecting all the stamps for an insect, to encourage kids to keep developing and improving their skills.
Demonstrate the tougher fine motor skills, such as firing the slingshot and pinching.
Use keywords like "pattern" and "counting" about different puzzles to reinforce larger concepts.