Build With Grandpa

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Build With Grandpa App Poster Image
Mini-games about building appeal to construction lovers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn some basic construction vocabulary and to identify select construction tools and heavy equipment. In one game, kids practice simple addition. Kids have room for limited creative expression when they paint the house and add decorative touches.

Ease of Play

Simple mini-games are straightforward and easy to execute. There's also some how-to help in case kids don’t immediately understand what to do.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Small icon on the home screen takes kids to visual and video ads for apps from the same developer. Parent gate protects purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Build With Grandpa introduces a simple exploration of house construction to the Grandma and Grandpa series. Through a set of mini-games, kids can pretend they're constructing a building by demolishing an old structure and clearing the way to mixing cement, choosing the right tools, and choosing some finishing decorative touches. The games cycle through automatically, from start to finish and back to start again. Parents may want to set a time limit or find concrete stopping points. Parents can choose which games to include and turn the background music off or on in the settings menu. Read the developer's privacy policy to find out how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

It's time to clear a lot and build a house in BUILD WITH GRANDPA. Use a wrecking ball to demolish an old building and then get to work constructing a new one. Each mini-game lasts a few seconds and asks kids to participate in the building process. Choose the right tools and equipment, dump gravel, mix cement, find construction-related words to build the foundation, watch a live-action video, choose wooden beams to make up the correct length for the walls, paint, and add doors, windows, and more to finish it up. Then, hang up a picture of the final product and start all over again.

Is it any good?

The ever-sweet and gentle grandpa is an encouraging guide through a simple overview of constructing a new building. Build With Grandpa is bound to be appealing to that toddler/preschool subset with an obsession with all things construction. Kids can interact with select parts of the construction process from start to finish and then enjoy a picture of the house they "built." Unfortunately, each activity doesn't last long and doesn't allow for much in-depth exploration of any of the concepts introduced. That means the work that goes into construction -- and some of the underlying educational concepts the developers claim the app covers -- gets breezed through. It's also quite repetitive: Once kids build a house, the whole process to build another one is essentially just a repeat with some different vocabulary words or wooden plank lengths swapped in. Because of that, Build With Grandpa speaks particularly to kids who watch wide-eyed and open-mouthed as cement mixers turn. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the construction process with Build With Grandpa. Name the tools and equipment, explore what happens when and in what order, and get creative with the final product.

  • Go on a construction hunt in your neighborhood! Find a nearby construction site and -- from a safe distance -- observe and discuss what they're doing and using.

  • Construct something at home. Kids can use Legos, blocks, cardboard boxes, or specialized construction kids to make houses, skyscrapers, and even whole cities.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition
    Hobbies: building
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: March 23, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 92.10 MB
  • Publisher: Fairlady Media
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: April 26, 2017

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