Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Awesome App Alert: Bugs and Buttons

I have been less vocal here on the blog lately; partly because I am busy (full time K, three kids, on Friends of the Library Board, turtle, cat, guinea pig, two dogs and NOW 17 puppies!) and partly because I felt like I had nothing to say.  That last part surprised you right? 

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.  
  1. Graphics are great
  2. music is terrific not annoying
  3. there are 18 activities
  4. when i thought there were only 6 I still loved it
  5. my 3 year old loves it
  6. patterning games
  7. sorting games
  8. counting games
  9. alphabet games
  10. connect the dots
  11. memory games
  12. mazes
  13. it makes me think just maybe bugs aren't as gross as I have always believed
  14. has games that work on pincer grasp 
  15. some levels appear to adjust  to your child's ability level
  16. 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.
Age most appropriate for: 3-6 in my opinion.  Some games are so cute older kids might enjoy them too.  Maybe the developer should offer another version aimed towards older kiddos under the same theme with the mini-games.  

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.


  1. Thank you for the wonderful review Sue. I just wanted you to know that your feedback is greatly appreciated and will definitely be addressed in the next update (especially the main menu).

    I'm not sure if this helps your classroom situation, but we do always make sure to support the education discounts program on our products:

    I hope its okay that I'm posting this in the comments. I just wanted you and your readers to know, that we appreciate all feedback and accessibility to our software is very important to us. If we can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you again for your interest in our software and the wonderful review.

    Scott, Little Bit Studio, LLC

  2. I have missed your posts! Great to hear from you again. :)


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