Meet the Insects: Forest Edition

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Meet the Insects: Forest Edition App Poster Image
Inspire backyard explorers with bug-tacular resource.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the classification, characteristics, habitats, life cycles, and behaviors of forest-dwelling insects. Three main groups of insects are discussed, including beetles, butterflies and moths, and the "true bugs." Within each group, kids can learn details and fun facts about specific insects that belong to that group. Videos and photographs show the behavior of insects, and a digital journal allows kids to take notes about any insects they encounter in nature. Kids can take either a true/false quiz or engage in photo identification to test their knowledge. Meet the Insects: Forest Edition provides a wealth of information and opportunities for exploration, including out into the backyard or park.

Ease of Play

The information could be overwhelming for young learners, but it's not likely because the content is so well organized. Pause and rewind features could improve navigation.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Meet the Insects: Forest Edition is an interactive digital resource that teaches kids virtually everything they'd want to know about forest-dwelling insects. Kids can read, watch videos, check out images, keep an insect journal, and more. Gorgeous graphics, fun music, and a day-to-night feature with realistic insect sounds add to the enjoyment of this fantastic resource. An added bonus: Kids will be inspired to get outside and go exploring for these fascinating critters. Because the different orders of insects are named and Latin names are given, parents might need to explain the basics of classification.

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What's it about?

As with the other Meet the Insects apps, this app is organized into five main areas: Multimedia, Insect Story, Observation Journal, See Insects, and Quiz. The Multimedia section includes brief videos and photographs of insects, giving kids a closeup view into the behaviors of these interesting animals. The Insect Stories section is a narrated, animated chapter book with topics including classification, life cycles, and characteristics of forest insects. The Observation Journal includes a section for kids to enter written observations and a section for them to view their entries. The See Insects section includes more detailed information about the three main groups of forest insects, and the Quiz section offers kids an opportunity to test their knowledge.

Is it any good?

MEET THE INSECTS: FOREST EDITION  is filled with fascinating facts, gorgeous graphics, and interesting media resources. Kids will be inspired to learn as they interact and bring insects to life at the tap of a finger. One of the best features is the virtual magnifying glass that zooms in on realistic photographs of insects. There's a lot of ground to cover, but the information is kid-friendly and well organized. It would be great to see some additional insects in future updates to give the app more longevity. A pause and rewind feature in the Insect Story section also could be helpful for kids who want to review the material and/or take notes, and providing videos for each insect would provide consistency for kids who will want to see the same features for each bug. Aside from these small shortcomings, the app provides every possible angle to get kids interested in insects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about insects they encounter in their daily lives. Are any of them forest insects?

  • If you live in an area with forest insects (which often can be found in suburban neighborhoods), go outside and explore! Encourage kids to observe with their eyes but not to touch insects in the wild. Try to identify the insects you find.

  • Talk about how animals (and insects) are classified by species, genus, family, order, and so on or do some research online about classification and naming.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Science: animals, biology
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, collecting data
    Self-Direction: academic development
  • Price: $4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: August 26, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Bugs
  • Size: 580.00 MB
  • Publisher: NCSOFT
  • Version: 2.3.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1.1 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animals and the outdoors

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