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App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2012
Big Kid Life Vet

Big Kid Life Vet

Gentle feedback helps kids learn empathy and some ABCs

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 1 review
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Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–1
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Science, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking, Communication & Collaboration

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4 images

Pros: It's motivating for a kid to be able to comfort and help animals by giving correct answers.

Cons: In the reports, you can't see which answers your kid gets wrong.

Bottom Line: This engaging and simple veterinarian game helps preschoolers build pre-reading skills.

You can get reports of the skills your kid is working on by email, but these reports don't include enough information to help you help them. You can't see, for example, a breakdown of correct or incorrect answers by category (although you can see when kids get 10 or more correct answers in a row). Rather, the reports show which games and skills they've completed; skills include "identifying shapes by name" or "phonemic awareness." The communication board has links and recommendations for other Fingerprint apps.

 

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Editor's Note: Big Kid Life Vet is no longer available.

In Big Kid Life Vet, preschoolers identify objects in a veterinarian's office. Kids choose an avatar, which they can change, and a level, from 1 to 3. Now, the vet is in her office, ready to see patients! Kids choose from their clipboard one of three animals to see first. The vet has to comfort the animal, then take an X-ray. The X-ray screen opens up pages filled with different pictures. A narrator tells kids to find certain objects, like the letter G, a pentagon, or a helicopter.

All three levels include the same images, like circles and octagons, uppercase and lowercase letters, and lots of pictures. All levels also stick to the same idea for gameplay: vet sees patients. On the first level, kids are asked to "find the square" or "touch the helicopter." As the levels increase in difficulty, the prompts require more critical thinking, such as "find something with wings" or "this is an uppercase T -- find a lowercase t" or "find a shape with exactly five sides."

Generally speaking, kids love the vet. They love animals and playing doctor, and this is a good combo of the two. Feedback in the game is gentle and goes at kids' own pace. Objects begin blinking if they don't respond immediately, so there's not a lot of time pressure. Also, if they don't answer enough questions in time, they can treat that animal again. But if kids finish before time runs out, they can earn extra fingerprints in a bonus round. When their patient leaves happy, they go on to the next patient. This reward system gives kids good opportunities to try again. It also helps teach cause and effect.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Veterinarians are an easy win for kids, and not only are they in charge of the office, they get to comfort and examine animals and help them by answering questions.

Pedagogy

Quizzes about shapes, letters, and pictures are age-appropriate and couched in the fun environment of a vet's office.

Support

Kids get plenty of hints, and the correct answer flashes if they're having too much trouble. Teachers or parents get skills reports over email. 


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Community Rating


Featured review by
Jerry J. , School district administrator
School district administrator
Muskegon High School
Muskegon, United States
Fun Way to Learn Lifeskills and Family Friendly!
Big Kid Life Vet (or Vet Game) is a great app (iOS only at this point) that teaches students to follow directions, learn about animals, and learn matching (shapes, categories, etc). It has three levels which you can work through! Fun for younger children! I think this would be even better to do it together w/ a parent, older sibling, or guardian. There is a parent section (which they register for which is found in Settings - click on the red/orange fingerprint) to unlock progress reports and engagement ...
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