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HEY CLAY BUGS

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
HEY CLAY BUGS App Poster Image
Create cute bugs from your own clay, or buy theirs.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Crafting specific items with clay from a just an idea can be a challenge. Kids use fine motor and spatial skills to follow step-by-step tutorials to create bugs out of modeling clay. 

Ease of Play

Tutorials with a video demonstration and auditory cues make creating different bugs out of modeling clay easy for young kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

While you can use any modeling clay you own, the app shows consumers that by purchasing the Hey Clay Bugs modeling kit for $15 plus shipping, kids will receive a promo code to download the full app for free (gaining five additional bug tutorials), plus 18 different cans of air dry clay to use when playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hey Clay Bugs is an app that offers step-by-step instructions on how to build cute bugs with modeling clay. Tutorials are offered with easy-to-follow instructions that include video illustrations with spoken cues. Only one bug is included in the free app, so you can pay money for the full app and use your own clay or purchase the Hey Clay Bugs box of modeling clay which includes a free promo code to download the full app. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

HEY CLAY BUGS is a fun app that helps kids create adorable bugs using modeling clay. The free version of the app only allows kids to view one step-by-step tutorial, which makes a snail. In the demonstration there is an animated illustration that shows the proper hand movements used to manipulate the clay into the next body part. Spoken clues say things like, "roll it into a cylinder with your hands or roll it into a sausage." Tapping on the specific step on the screen launches a three-dimensional view. A progress bar on the bottom shows how close the bug is to being complete. In the tutorials, when certain body parts are added, the tutorial will animate the bug. Tapping on the colors of clay provides options on how to use different colors of clay to mix together to achieve the desired shade. After kids get praise for completing the step when finished, kids can take a photo of the creation, add their name and age, then save it to the camera roll or choose to message or email it to someone else. Kids will need to follow instructions to use 2 fingers to swipe down in order to gain access to the email and text functions in the app. But if you want to build the other bugs, you'll need to pay $4.99 for the full version, or purchase the tutorial for each bug separately, which range from $0.99 to $1.99, depending on the build. Additional bug choices to create for the fee include: caterpillar, dragonfly, ladybird (similar to a lady bug), mantis, and spider. 

Is it any good?

This instructional app helps kids create adorable clay creations out of clay, but parents will have to set expectations about whether or not they'll buy more bugs or the clay the app recommends. Many children enjoy creative sensory activities such as using modeling clay and dough, but depending upon their age and personality often become frustrated when the idea of what they want to make in their head, is not what ends up on the table in front of them. Step-by-step tutorials and animations are an excellent way to help kids problem solve complicated tasks and create a finished product they are proud of. The Hey Clay Bugs tutorials and animations are eye-catching and easy to follow from the visual demonstrations. Audio instructions at times sound computer generated and are a little more challenging to understand at times, but helpful. Unfortunately the free version of the app only includes access to one tutorial. You'll gain enough information in the first tutorial to know whether you'll choose to upgrade to buying the air dry clay kit which includes a promo code for the full version, or use your own clay at home and either buy the tutorials one-by-one or pay $4.99 for the full version of the app. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hey Clay Bugs is a great app to check out for kids who want to create realistic things out of clay, but they might need a little help to learn the steps. How do you follow directions? What's the best way to do something step-by-step?

  • Families may want to discuss how there are many types of learning styles. Talk about what kind of learning style your child prefers? Are they a hands-on learner who benefits from visual demonstrations and guidance to figure out challenging problems?

  • Talk about how to use the materials you already have. Don't have all the colors of clay the app suggests? What colors of clay can you mix together to achieve the color you want? Or use the colors you do have and create something similar, but unique!

  • Set up a game plan for the activity. What different types of clay can you use? Do you want this to be a permanent creation to display or will you use take the bug apart and store the clay when you are finished?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: playing, sculpture
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, spatial reasoning
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
    Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try ($4.99 for all bugs or $0.99-$1.99 each individual bug)
  • Release date: November 1, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: STEM, Bugs
  • Size: 133.40 MB
  • Publisher: Hey Clay
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: July 19, 2019

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