Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition App Poster Image
Interactive resource packed with content for nature lovers.

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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 many insects. Five main groups of insects are discussed, including mantises, bees, dragonflies and damselflies, beetles and weevils, and "true bugs." Kids can explore insects that are classified into each group, learning about their body structures, habitats, behavior, and more. Animations, videos, and photographs show the behavior of insects, and a digital journal allows kids to take notes and add pictures of insects they discover on their own. Kids can take a quiz to assess learning, and they receive instant feedback. Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition is an insect lover's dream and likely will inspire your kid to get outside for a bug hunt.

Ease of Play

Content is well organized, making the wealth of information easy to digest. Navigation is a snap, but pause and rewind features could help.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Meet the Insects: Water & Grass Edition is a multi-media digital resource that teaches kids about water and grass-dwelling insects. The app provides opportunities for kids to virtually explore insects by reading, watching videos, viewing images, keeping an observation journal, and more. The beautiful graphics, interactive features, and realistic sound effects fully engage kids in the learning experience. Narrated text helps kids with varying reading abilities. 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?

The home page is organized into five main areas for kids to explore: Multimedia, Insect Story, Observation Journal, See Insects, and Quiz. The Multimedia section includes brief videos and photographs of different insects, giving kids a close-up view of behaviors like swimming, hiding from predators, and laying eggs. The videos are quite brief, but they seem to give just enough information to keep younger kids interested. The Insect Stories section a chapter book with topics including classification, life cycles, and characteristics of insects. Kids can listen to narration as they read text at the bottom of the screen. The Observation Journal includes a section for kids to enter written observations and upload photographs, and a section for them to draw pictures of their observations. The See Insects section includes more detailed information about the five main groups of water and grass insects, and the Quiz section offers kids an opportunity to test their knowledge by taking either a true/false quiz or a quiz in which they identify insects based on a photograph.

Is it any good?

Similar to the other Meet the Insects apps,  MEET THE INSECTS: WATER & GRASS EDITION is filled with fun facts, solid content, beautiful graphics, and diverse media resources. Insects come to life at the tap of a finger, and kids will be inspired to go outside and explore these critters in real life. The built-in zooming magnifying glass is a fun and easy way for kids to observe detailed structures of the insects. It would be great to see a pause and rewind feature in the Insect Story section so kids can 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 that live in water and grass. How do they travel? How are they different than other insects?

  • Families can go outside and explore! Try to find and identify insects that kids learned about from the app.

  • Families can work together to create a hand-illustrated field guide of insects.

  • Talk about how animals (and insects) are classified by species, genus, family, order, etc. 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: September 4, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Bugs
  • Size: 562.00 MB
  • Publisher: NCSOFT
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later

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For kids who love animals and the outdoors

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