Spatter and Spark

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Spatter and Spark App Poster Image
Ignore in-app purchases to enjoy fun, charming critter tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn vocabulary and develop reading fluency by hearing a book read aloud. They can develop curiosity as they explore the interactive elements in the book. They can learn numbers up to 10 if they complete the "bug pie" activity, and they can develop more specific color and object vocabulary through the "balloons" and "safari" activities. Although the learning activities lack depth, Spatter and Spark shines in the read-aloud interaction of the story.

Ease of Play

Most of the interaction is drag-and-drop, though kids may move faster than the narration at points and have to wait.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Kids can connect to the iTunes store through a link to buy the activities related to the story.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the free version of Spatter and Spark includes an interactive original story about an animal inventor, Spark, and her artist friend, Spatter, but the activities that go along with the story require an in-app purchase. The story encourages kids to help each other and keep trying as they see Spark help Spatter -- and then Spatter help Spark -- solve problems. Parents can set up profiles for multiple kids.

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What's it about?

Kids can choose to have the story read aloud to them or to read it themselves. In either method, they can interact with some things on the screen, such as spinning pinwheels and ringing a doorbell using Spark's invention. Kids also are encouraged to make an in-app purchase, with a parent's help, of the activities that go with the stories. The activities can be purchased separately or bundled and include painting with Spatter, a counting activity, and a search-and-find jungle-animals safari. Kids are rewarded with stickers as they complete each of three levels of play.

Is it any good?

SPATTER AND SPARK starts with relatable characters, a positive story, and beautiful illustrations and adds in fun interactions -- including some Rube Goldberg-like inventions -- for kids to play with. That's enough to make a great experience for kids. Don't feel pressure to download any further; the in-app-purchased activities are pricey and unfortunately don't compare in quality to the digital book. Kids may prefer the read-aloud experience since the animation, including moving mouths, continues even when they're reading alone, which means readers can't advance the page if they finish reading silently before the characters finish mouthing the words.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reading books on various devices. What's the difference between seeing a book on an iPad versus a traditional paper version? Which positive qualities does each one have? 

  • Families can talk about working together on projects or problems. Do you have a friend with whom you like to do school projects? 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love interactive story time

Themes & Topics

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