VTech InnoTab Software - Bubble Guppies

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Wealth of pet-themed activities keep preschoolers engaged.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids are encouraged to nurture and care for their pets. 

Positive role models

The Bubble Guppies characters help kids learn about pet care.

Ease of play

Game instructions are clear, but some of the controls (dragging and flicking) may be tricky for younger kids. Most of the games use the stylus, but some use the motion sensor. The mini-games have two difficulty levels.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This is based on a popular television franchise with many products available.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Bubble Guppies encourages kids to nurture virtual (and, by proxy, live) pets. If your child is already clamoring for a pet, this will only make things worse. On the other hand, they're asked to think about the pet's needs and how to care for them. Some of the games ask kids to choose objects that match a pet, but the answers may not be obvious for all kids (is it common knowledge that horses play with balls?), and there's no explanation given for wrong answers. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary

Math

  • counting
  • shapes

Hobbies

  • pets

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

With plenty of variety in activities, kids will enjoy playing over and over again with these popular characters and their pet dog. 

Learning Approach

The information is relevant for kids with or without pets, but it lacks deeper coverage (beyond feeding and bathing, for example). The quiz activity doesn't explain wrong answers, but learning content is well-integrated. 

Support

In-game prompting helps kids when they get stuck, and they can track their progress in their "Cubby" via the flashcards they've earned. Parents can track kids' learning through the VTech Learning Lodge.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary

Math

  • counting
  • shapes

Hobbies

  • pets

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • making new creations

Kids can learn about pet care, work on reading and vocabulary, and practice colors, shapes, and numbers through a series of mini-games and activities with the Bubble Guppies. They'll count as they dole out dog food and water, and they'll match shapes and colors through a game of Fishketball with Bubble Puppy. There's even an ebook that highlights words as read and define some of the special words. With the Bubble Guppies, kids learn about pet ownership and care while also practicing early learning skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

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What's it about?

VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - BUBBLE GUPPIES is all about the world of pet care. Kids can read the ebook about Gil and his friends as they learn how to care for a puppy. The story is read out loud page by page, and kids can tap on words to hear them. Words appear in color if they have a glossary entry for kids to visit. They can head to the \"Story\" area, where they choose from activities related to the grooming, housing, and feeding of pets. Each one has a quiz-type game wherein kids decide which objects are right for the pet in question. Players also can go \"shopping\" to collect a certain object with a shopping cart. In the end, they're invited to play a game or do an activity, such as decorating Bubble Puppy's doghouse.

Kids also can play the seven mini-games and activities separately through the Mini-Games menu. They will unlock objects for decorating Bubble Puppy's house and flashcards to help with reading practice. When kids are feeling creative, they can head into Picture Time, where they can take pictures with wigs and hats or with frames and characters.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

VTech InnoTab Software - Bubble Guppies features characters that young kids know and love in games they will enjoy. Preschoolers can't help but enjoy feeding Bubble Puppy (counting out pieces of food as they go), giving him a bath, and leading him through an obstacle course. The Bubblestorm quiz game requires some knowledge preschoolers may not have (where specific animals live, what they eat, and what they play with), and there's a missed opportunity to explain why an answer is incorrect. It also requires holding an object with the stylus and dragging, which may be tricky for younger kids. A game called Fishketball has similar control challenges, asking kids to "flick" a ball with the stylus. This requires not only fine motor skills but good timing. In the end, kids will be charmed by the characters and, with seven mini-games, should find plenty of replay value, even if they don't enjoy a few of the games. 

Families can talk about...

  • Discuss the care of your own pet. What types of food, toys, and environments do they prefer?

  • Visit different pets (belonging to friends and family) to see how they're the same and different in terms of care.

  • Practice simple math skills such as counting and sorting by color or shape.

Game details

Platforms:InnoTab, InnoTab 2
Price:$24.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:VTech Electronics
Release date:July 1, 2013
Genre:Educational
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Horses and farm animals, Numbers and letters, Ocean creatures

This review of VTech InnoTab Software - Bubble Guppies 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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