The Bugs I: Insects?

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
The Bugs I: Insects? App Poster Image
Mixed-bag bug facts missing vocabulary help.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a bit more about different insects and what distinguishes them from the rest of the bug world.

Ease of Play

Navigation is a breeze. Some kids may need help with some of the games.

Violence & Scariness

An alarm goes off when a character touches a hive without proper protections, which might frighten younger kids, especially those who are already afraid of bees. Some of the ants carry spears. 

Sexy Stuff

Reference to "mating." In the case of the praying mantis, a brief mention of how the female eats the male.

Language
Consumerism

There is a link to a page with the publisher's other games. Clicking through requires a multi-digit addition problem.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bugs I: Insects? is an educational experience for kids that combines mini-games and activities with informational screens. All of the text and instructions are read out loud, making it friendly for non-readers. There are a lot of fanciful elements interspersed with real-world elements, which may be confusing for younger kids. In addition, the app sometimes refers to vocabulary that kids may not have been introduced to, such as an "abdomen" on an insect, or the "cells" in a honeycomb. There's also a reference to "mating," which may prompt questions from kids that parents will need to be prepared to answer. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

THE BUGS I: INSECTS? introduces kids to the insect world through a series of games and activities. There are six main sections: bees, butterflies, beetles, ants, more insects, and then a section that talks about insects in general. Each one has areas kids can tap on to learn more about the insect, its habitat, its life cycle, etc. Each area also has several activities that may reinforce the information, introduce new facts, or just entertain. Kids are asked to place images of the life cycle of butterflies and ants in order. They can mix and match insect parts to create their own insects. Also, they'll help insects overcome obstacles, sort insects into categories, and search for hidden insects in an image. 

Is it any good?

With plenty of activities, kids will likely be entertained for a while, but the app lacks a cohesive educational experience. The Bugs I: Insects? certainly makes the insects relatable to kids, giving them little personalities that kids can understand. Unfortunately, younger kids have no way of knowing that a dancer bee doesn't actually wear a tutu, or that ant larvae don't go to sleep with pacifiers. For older kids, there's some interesting information, but sometimes activities rely on facts and definitions that kids haven't yet received. The activities are hit or miss, both in terms of education and fun, so it might be best for kids who are insect enthusiasts or who need help overcoming a fear of bugs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about insects. What types of insects do you see around your home? How do the insects help us? What things might they do that hurt us or our homes and gardens? What did you learn from The Bugs I: Insects?

  • Talk about what is real vs. imaginary in the app. How can kids tell the difference?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn? 

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love science and animals

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