Tiggly Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Tiggly Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor App Poster Image
G-R-O-S-S spelling fun shocks and introduces a few verbs.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to spell verbs and expand their vocabulary: The spelling isn't that challenging, but the vocabulary is more advanced. Play starts with basic words such as "pull," advances to words with blends such as "grab," and then moves into more sophisticated vocabulary with words such as "sever." Hints come very quickly, with only the correct letter choice shown after a few seconds. Though this is billed as a spelling game, kids will probably find vocabulary building to be the biggest learning benefit of playing Tiggly Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor.

Ease of Play

Difficulty increases from only one letter option to more complex words and letter choices.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Logo ad for other apps and the manipulatives appears on start screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tiggy Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor can be played simply as a traditional app, or it can be paired with the Tiggly Words toys for hybrid play: The toys -- Tiggly Words, colorful lowercase vowels made of a soft plastic and conductive silicone -- retail for $29.99 and include a link to download three apps for free. Either way, kids will encounter all kinds of icky illnesses at the doctor's office among the three recurring patients. From noses dripping like faucets to bug-infested hair and chocolate-covered rotting teeth, there's plenty of grossness, and because the ailments are fantastical, kids aren't truly performing actions like a real doctor. Settings and on-screen instruction are available in seven languages, but the audio is only in English. Read the privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In TIGGLY DOCTOR: SPELL VERBS AND PERFORM ACTIONS LIKE A REAL DOCTOR, three characters wait in the doctor's office lobby, all with a revolving array of (mostly disgusting) maladies. Kids choose which patient to see and learn about the ailment. To heal the patient, kids spell the verb that corresponds to the treatment and guide the tools to complete the treatment -- such as plucking the worm from the blemish on a boy's head. Using the Tiggly manipulatives or only the on-screen options, kids choose the verb that matches the one they see, and then they hear the completed word said aloud. One patient introduces longer vocabulary words, and as kids demonstrate mastery of easier words, the challenge picks up, with treatment verbs evolving from "cut" to "anesthetize."

Is it any good?

Disgusting patients entertain kids with shock humor, but the increasingly challenging verbs will expand their vocabularies and spelling skills. The three characters look like puppets, made up of different colorful textures, and they give a dramatic demonstration of suffering sure to entertain. The controls are easy to use: Tapping a letter moves it into place as easily as dragging if you're playing without toys, but the manipulatives add another layer of interactivity. However, if kids don't act fast, the app will complete the treatment for them; they only have a few seconds to tap and drag the medical tools before they move on their own. The story line makes spelling fun, but the words are limited to the verbs in the game with no way to enter custom lists. Also, the degree of emphasis on the letters, their sounds, and learning spelling words is relatively low. More and varied activities with some repetition or feedback around letter choice would be great.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the gross factor. Do kids find it funny, or does it turn them off?

  • Encourage kids to read widely to build their vocabulary and spelling skills, and use some of the words they encounter in the game in everyday conversation.

App details

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