Whack A Bone

 

Learning(i)

Quirky pirate-themed games make learning about bones a snap.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Navigation is fairly intuitive, but some prior knowledge of bones would make the games more meaningful.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

On the home page, there's a link that takes users to an area for making requests to share and challenge friends and for liking the app on Facebook. The app's privacy policy wasn't posted on the developer's website at the time of this review.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Whack A Bone is a series of educational games that teach kids the major bones of the human body. Kids drag bones to the correct place on a given body part and then are challenged to tap the bones as fast as possible while a parrot calls out the names of the bones. The final challenge is a race against the clock to tap all the bones on a skeleton named Harold. Best times are displayed and stored, and a percent score is given in the final game, which engages kids and motivates them to keep trying. Some may find the parrot squawks annoying, but the sound can be turned off without affecting the learning experience. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The pirate theme is fun, and a talking parrot adds some humor. Games engage kids by challenging them to race against the clock and beat their previous scores. 

Learning Approach

Kids learn through memorization and practice, which is an essential part of studying anatomy. They drag and tap on bones while learning their names and locations. A final level lets kids apply what they've learned.

Support

Clear instructions guide kids. Labels, hints, and feedback are given at appropriate times, and levels must be completed before kids move on. In the final game, kids have to review and correct wrong answers. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • biology

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Kids can learn the names and positions of the major bones in the human body. If kids want to learn more, there are brief descriptions of each bone at the start of the first three games. The games are designed to teach through repetition and practice, but they do so in a fun and engaging way. Memorization is the name of the game in this app, which is essential for learning human anatomy. Whack A Bone's practical, hands-on games get kids engaged in learning about anatomy.

This Learning Rating review was written by Debbie Gorrell

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What's it about?

There are four games in WHACK A BONE, and each game must be unlocked before you move on to the next one. Kids begin learning the bones in the core of the body, move on to the arm and then the leg, and then apply what they've learned to the entire body. There are two levels in each of the first three games. Kids begin by dragging the bones to the correct position on a labeled model. If they get it wrong, they have to keep trying until they get it right. Then, kids tap each bone on the model after a parrot squawks the name of the bone. There's a list you can use if you don't want to hear the squawking. If kids tap the wrong bone, they must keep tapping and get it right before moving to the next bone. After completing the third game, kids apply what they've learned by tapping the bones on a complete skeleton model. The tapping games are timed, and the best times are stored, which encourages kids to keep practicing.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Whack A Bone will appeal to kids who want to learn about bones in the human body. The pirate theme and timed challenges make it a fun and engaging learning experience. However, once kids have mastered the levels and memorized all the bones, they may grow tired of the games; some extension activities would add value and extend learning beyond memorization and recall. It also would be nice if the timed feature could be turned off so kids could practice at their own pace, if desired. 

Families can talk about...

  • Find and make a copy of an unlabeled skeleton, and challenge kids to label the bones.

  • Take turns trying to beat each other's scores.

App details

Devices:iPad, Android
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:November 27, 2012
Category:Education
Size:23.80 MB
Publisher:Media Saints
Version:1.0.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Whack A Bone was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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