Common Sense Review
Updated November 2012

Big Kid Life Vet

Gentle feedback helps kids learn empathy and some ABCs
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Kids can choose from three levels of difficulty. More advanced level questions require more advanced critical thinking.
  • The vets have to comfort their animal patient and then take an X-ray. Kids interact with the touch screen for both of these tasks to develop tech skills.
  • The X-rays produce several problems the kids must solve, like finding a certain letter or something that has legs.
  • Parents or teachers can view reports of which games kids are playing and the skills they're learning.
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.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

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 Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

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

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

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. 

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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."

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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