Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem App Poster Image
Help Cat out of trees with spatial skills; expect smiles.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about spatial reasoning, problem solving, measurement, and task persistence as they solve puzzles to get Cat out of a tall tree. Kids explore concepts such as higher and lower, bigger and smaller, and longer and shorter as they adjust ropes on pulleys, roll snowballs, grow plants, and stack boxes. Each puzzle may have multiple solutions and may require a few tries before kids get a bridge or set of stairs set up so Cat can get out. Most of all, by having fun with math concepts in the casual and engaging setting of Peg + Cat = The Tree Problem, kids can learn that math is fun and exciting. 

Ease of Play

Kids need to tap, hold, and drag to build bridges for Cat. Play is pretty intuitive, but if kids need help there's a question mark they can tap for hints.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

A small icon on the introduction screen leads to more PBS Kids apps. Access is protected behind a parent lock. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem extends the fun from the Peg + Cat TV show in an interactive, mathematical reasoning-based game. Cat keeps getting stuck in trees, so kids must build bridges or steps for Cat to jump down and into Peg's waiting arms. Six worlds present different versions of the problem. Kids use spatial reasoning, measurement, problem solving, and planning to build bridges, roll snowballs, grow plants, move geysers, and more. Each world has five difficulty levels, so kids are continuously challenged as they play. The game is easily accessible for kids who know and love Peg and Cat as well as for kids who've never heard of them.

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What's it about?

Silly Cat keeps getting stuck in tall trees! Kids build bridges, ramps, and stairs to help him climb down. There are six "worlds," each with a different challenge. For example, kids adjust geyser heights in Dino Valley, roll snowballs at the South Pole, and move hanging cloud decorations on Broadway. Each world has five levels of increasing difficulty. If kids need help, they can tap a question-mark icon. When kids start, only level 1 is unlocked; once all levels are unlocked, they can choose which level to play.

Is it any good?

PEG + CAT: THE TREE PROBLEM easily engages kids with some basic math-related reasoning. More than teaching specific math concepts, Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem aims to immerse kids in a world where math is a fun, exciting, and a totally integral part of life. Instead of presenting the typical number flash cards or equation drills, it engages kids in such a way that they don't even realize they're using mathematical reasoning. In fact, parents may want to help make the connection between math concepts and play to strengthen the potential for learning and support an association between math and the fun of the games. Many problems have multiple solutions, which encourages kids to be creative and breaks the mold of the right answer/wrong answer formula. Though some new challenges are introduced through the levels, the task remains essentially the same through all 30 games, so some kids may find it repetitive. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how math is more than numbers and equations. Discuss different ways math is fun, exciting, and present in many parts of life.

  • Make the math connection crystal-clear. For example, discuss spatial concepts such as higher, lower, bigger, smaller, longer, and shorter. 

  • Encourage kids to problem solve. If they're not working a problem out right away, suggest some other ways to approach it.

App details

  • Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Subjects: Math: measurement
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: January 23, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 155.00 MB
  • Publisher: PBS KIDS
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later, Android 2.3 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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