Bugs and Buttons

Common Sense Media says

Realistic-looking bugs blend fun and learning in 18 games.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Visual instructions demonstrate how to play the games; each begins simply, then adds more elements with each level to increase the difficulty. Some games are timed, and high scores translate into stamps that are collected in a stamp book. Scores and achievements can be hidden in the settings menu. Kids can use the explore page to see their progress and find a particular game, or just press start from the main menu to begin playing games at random.

Violence & scariness

In one game, kids aim bees at a target using a slingshot, but the bees are unhurt, and in fact exclaim "yippee" and "yahoo" as they fly through the air. Another game involves tapping bugs to make them disappear in a burst of light.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A window pops up asking you to rate the app, but it can be disabled.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • addition
  • counting
  • numbers
  • patterns

Science

  • motion

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • prediction
  • solving puzzles

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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!

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • addition
  • counting
  • numbers
  • patterns

Science

  • motion

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • prediction
  • solving puzzles

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn a wide range of language and math skills, from recognizing lowercase and uppercase letters in alphabetical order to counting up through 20 with Bugs and Buttons. Several puzzles challenge kids to identify patterns, finish sequences, and group similar objects, all while kids build the fine motor control to pinch, tap, and drag objects around the screen. The lively bugs and colorful buttons energize the puzzles and make the concepts more intuitive and relevant for kids to learn. Better progress tracking for parents would give the app a boost. Bugs and Buttons entertains and engages while it educates kids on basic skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Liz Panarelli

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$2.99
Release date:November 17, 2011
Category:Education
Topics:Bugs
Size:80.70 MB
Publisher:Little Bit Studio, LLC.
Version:1.0.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Bugs and Buttons was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byKatetherate August 19, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

The most delightful kids app I've seen!

Bugs and Buttons is the most impressive kids app I've seen. It has 18 activities, each lasts a few minutes - just right for child-sized concentration. It automatically moves onto the next activity, and they seem to appear in a random order so there's no boring predictability. Activities include recognising patterns, colours and numbers; sorting different objects into groups; using skills such as pinching, dragging, tilting; letter recognition. It is visually beautiful, so much lovelier than any other kids app I've seen, and it has an entertaining, varied musical soundtrack that doesn't make me want to mute it the minute the kids turn it on. My 4 and 7 year old girls have thoroughly enjoyed playing with this app, and I don't feel guilty letting them have a go because I can see real value in the activities. I highly recommend Bugs and Buttons.
Educator and Parent Written byburrelll October 17, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

I like it

My 4 year old loves it. It's not noisy or jarring. It has nice graphics and quiet music with simple and easy to follow directions.

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