Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2013
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Bugs and Numbers

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Critter app that covers wide array of fundamentals has terrific value

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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1 video | 5 images

Pros: Beautiful graphics and a variety of skills covered.

Cons: Although kids get a bug when they master a skill, you can't track their progress.

Bottom Line: From matching and measurements to telling time and fractions, Bugs and Numbers covers more math skills than most apps.

Teachers can assign different games to different kids, depending on the skills each needs to practice, thus reaching a broad range of learners. You can set up separate accounts for multiple kids by going to Settings and finding Bugs and Numbers. Each kid's account will track which games they've mastered, but teachers won't be able to see which areas they may have struggled with.

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Bugs and Numbers makes a bug's life for kids, as they explore math concepts such as matching, counting, sorting, sequencing, addition, subtraction, fractions, money, measurements, and telling time from the perspective of some realistic-looking critters. In three sections of six games each, bugs explore places like a diner, a junkyard, or a circus, and encounter skills in fitting backdrops. For fractions, ants deliver boxes of pizza to a picnic, and kids choose which fraction is represented in each box. Kids learn to count money in an arcade by dropping the correct amount into the machines. They earn bugs by completing each game and can zoom in to watch their bugs in action.

The variety of skills covered here is unusual for math apps -- kids can practice their numbers, count money, tell time, and develop an understanding of fractions all in one place. The graphics are incredibly realistic (beautiful, actually, if you agree that bugs are beautiful). And visual learning rules the day: for example, three bugs are on-screen when preschoolers are learning the numeral 3.

Incorrect answers are met with an, "Oops!" That answer disappears, and kids can answer again and again, with subsequent incorrect answers continuing to disappear, increasing their chances of finding the right one. Missed questions don't count toward the mastery goal, and, unfortunately, kids don't get an explanation or demonstration of correct answers.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The graphics are wonderful, and the bugs make it fun to play original and engaging games.

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

With impressive variety, each skill gets explored, and math fundamentals are taught very effectively.

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

The intuitive interface is easy for even preschoolers to navigate. More data reporting of how kids perform on each skill would be nice.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Alissa D. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools
Philadelphia, United States
Many games, Worth the cost
This is a great app for centers or early finishers as I find it really keeps kids engaged. I have heard several complaints from teachers about the cost of this app, but with 18 different games, I feel like it was worth the cost. A better progress tracker would really boost this app over the top!
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