Star Gurus - Fun educational dot to dot game for preschool kids to learn numbers and how to count in different sequences

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Star Gurus - Fun educational dot to dot game for preschool kids to learn numbers and how to count in different sequences App Poster Image
Count to connect the stars; repetitive but customizable.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about number names, counting, numerical order, and general number fluency for numbers up to 20. Kids also can count by tens up to 100. Several options give kids varying levels of help in figuring out which number comes next in a sequence, including flashing numbers and simple trial and error. When they finish connecting the stars to make an image outline, they'll learn the name of that image ("centaur," "mermaid," "hamster"). Finally, with 10 language options, kids can easily switch among languages and hear familiar letter and image names in foreign languages. Though Star Gurus - Fun educational dot to dot game for preschool kids to learn numbers and how to count in different sequences is too simple to keep a kid excited for long, it does offer enough features to enhance and vary the learning experience.

Ease of Play

Tap numbers or drag a finger across the screen to connect numbers. Settings menu is easy to access and navigate.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Sometimes an icon appears on the home page advertising other apps from the same developer; a parent gate blocks access.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Gurus - Fun educational dot to dot game for preschool kids to learn numbers and how to count in different sequences is essentially a digital version of that old-fashioned classic, connect-the-dots. Finished images resemble constellations, and kids hear the name of the image when they've connected all the stars. The developers designed the game to be played in 10- to 15-minute sessions. Parents can adjust how kids count -- by twos, by odd numbers, and so on -- and how much help to provide kids in finding the next number. Kids can play in 10 languages including English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, or Chinese. Kids hear numbers and the name of the image they create in the language they choose.

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What's it about?

In STAR GURUS - FUN EDUCATIONAL DOT TO DOT GAME FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS TO LEARN NUMBERS AND HOW TO COUNT IN DIFFERENT SEQUENCES, kids tap numbered stars to draw lines between them and form a constellation-like image such as a panda, a camel, or a witch. With each tap, kids hear the number's name, and when kids complete the image, they also hear the image's name. There are 30 images in all. Parents can adjust how numbers are presented -- 1 to 20, 1- to 10, by twos, by tens, and so on -- and whether to offer hints in finding the next number. They also can choose whether kids play in different languages.

Is it any good?

This simple, easy introduction to numbers, counting, and numerical order is fun, but probably only for a limited time. However, this digital version of the classic connect-the-dots game does offer some extra flexibility and customization options. For instance, kids who have mastered counting to 20 can practice focusing on even or odd numbers. It's also neat to try out different languages and learn number names and a few words in Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and more. Overall, the graphics are good, but, as with real constellations, the dot arrangements don't always make a convincing image. It would be nice to see a more purposeful learning connection to the constellations theme. Check the developer's website for upcoming offscreen activities to complement the digital game: Though they say they often add new images, there's little variety, and even with the customization options, there's limited opportunity for depth. Yet the app was designed to be played in short chunks and, as such, can be a great option for a safe, appealing game with light educational content.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about numbers and counting to help kids gain an easy familiarity with numbers. Count anything and everything around you such as stairs, red cars in a parking lot, kids at the playground, and so on.

  • Explore constellations in the sky or in books. Look up at the night sky and count stars. Point out groups of stars from established constellations, or ask kids what images they see.

  • Try out the different language options and, together with your kids, learn how to count to 10 in a foreign language.

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For kids who love numbers and astronomy

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