My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR App Poster Image
Iconic storybook caterpillar inhabits your kid's real world.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn about the life cycle of butterflies as they use and explore augmented reality (AR) technology and nurture the caterpillar.

Ease of Play

Provides some specific guidelines for using the app successfully (clear surface, good lighting).

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Other apps promoted on the help screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR is an augmented reality (AR) adaptation of the Eric Carle book and a new, AR version of an existing app. Through AR technology, kids use your Apple device's camera to view the caterpillar's adventures from egg to butterfly within their own, real environments. There are some specific guidelines for using this app successfully (clear surface, good lighting), which makes it different from the existing app (without AR), but overall My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR is easy enough for preschoolers to use, with some startup help from a parent or caregiver. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To play MY VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR AR, make sure you're in a bright, well-lit space with a "flat, tidy surface." Point your camera downward at the flat surface, and move it around to set the "play area." Tap Play and watch for the caterpillar egg to appear. After the caterpillar cracks out of the egg, move the iPad to aim the camera around the viewing area. Watch how the caterpillar interacts with the other objects on the screen. Tap on-screen objects to see what they will do. If you change your real-life location, tap the red re-load icon.

Is it any good?

Watching Eric Carle's beloved hungry caterpillar crawl into real-world environments is enchanting. My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR is easy enough for preschoolers to use; still, parents will likely want to have a protective case on their device just in case their kid gets too into the experience and bumps into something or drops the device as they tap and carry at the same time (the instructions on the app advise kids only tap on-screen objects when they're seated, but ...). The colorful graphics and interaction with the world in front of your kid's eyes make play on this app a very engaging, happy way to learn about the life cycle of caterpillars and how to nurture a tiny creature.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR works. With your kids help, imagine the process of creating an innovative app like this: What sorts of skills went into creating this app? From Eric Carle's creative storytelling, art, and character development to the coders who created the app and the camera developers, this app required a team of talented, trained people to bring it to life. 

  • Encourage your kid to try this app in various (safe) places indoors and outside as a lesson in the importance of context. It's a very different experience watching the caterpillar roam around your kitchen floor vs. your backyard. 

  • Ask your kids to tell you a story about the very hungry caterpillar in the AR scene that they're creating. Why is the caterpillar in that setting? What's he doing? Why?

App details

For kids who love preschool apps and picture books

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