Until the last few days as I have observed my 3 year old playing Bugs and Buttons, a new app by the creators of the Dial Safe app. Dial Safe Pro was available the other day for free to help promote Bugs and Buttons, so great way to advertise-it worked on me! I already had Dial Safe Pro, but decided to look into the new app because of the adorable name, and my itunes account had a little more money left on it.
Now, I LOVE buttons and use them to teach concepts in my class often. But BUGS? Yuck. Still, I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. Let me summarize why you should spend the $2.99 I paid.
- Graphics are great
- music is terrific not annoying
- there are 18 activities
- when i thought there were only 6 I still loved it
- my 3 year old loves it
- patterning games
- sorting games
- counting games
- alphabet games
- connect the dots
- memory games
- it makes me think just maybe bugs aren't as gross as I have always believed
- has games that work on pincer grasp
- some levels appear to adjust to your child's ability level
- and so much more... did I mention 18 adorable games (although I am not so sure about the spiders.) But maybe it will help kids not to be freaked out so much by them in real life.
My suggestions for improvement: Make the start page more intuitive. Explore (the option my daughter prefers) should be first or have an icon that helps non readers find it easier.
I would love to see the games using letters have a voice announcing the letter name/sound when picked. For example, in memory games when flipping over j and J the name or sound would be announced. The same thing for the counting/color games too.
The price is fine for the quality of the app for individual use, but for my classroom it's a little steep. I do think it is a serious contender for use in the classroom... I rarely recommend apps that aren't free unless I think they are so great that you shouldn't wait for a free copy. This is definately one of those "too good to pass up apps". Certainly it is fun and education and just plain beautifully made... Highly recommened by me if you only have a few iPads in your room or you have a good budget for apps. Otherwise, if you hear of it dropping in price be sure to download it quickly!
By the way... the reason I had no hesitation to buy the Bugs and Buttons app was because Dial Safe pro version and their free lite version are terrific too. Last week I watched a kindergartner show the app to her mom during a conference. She said "look, I can call 911." So she did and it walked her through all the steps she would go through in a real emergency. What an amazing app- she was fluently giving her phone number, address, name and age to the "operator". I have had kids learning their info for years and never had such a realistic way for them to practice. She was so proud of herself and now her mom and I both know she would know what to do if there was a real emergency.