Common Sense Review
Updated June 2012

Itsy Bitsy Spider - by Duck Duck Moose

Itsy Bitsy nature facts with everyone's fave spider song
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • From the first screen on, kids poke or slide things to see what happens.
  • The main characters are the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Chloe the Fly.
  • Tap things like the flowerpot and watch something appear.
  • Move the spider up the spout and watch the rain come down.
  • Slide the spider to the next scene and watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly.
Pros
Little tidbits of nature information provided by Chloe the fly offer just enough learning for little ones.
Cons
How kids move from one screen to the next is not intuitive at first, and general instruction is unclear.
Bottom Line
Visually beautiful app, but a few more verbal or visual clues could improve the experience.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Cute, colorful, and a whole lot of fun for kids under 5. The app has a wonderfully absurd sense of humor -- for example, as a bird flies by holding a hat, you can tap it to make it drop the hat onto the spider's head.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids can learn through context. The app takes what used to be simply a fun sing-along song and uses the lyrics and setting to create an activity where kids can explore and learn. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 1

The song/story continues in an infinite loop, so kids can keep playing (and seeing some new things) long after the relatively short five-scene tale is over.

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

In the classroom, this app may be a perfect playful companion to a lesson about nature (especially spring, weather, spiders, or metamorphosis) or a nursery rhyme theme. You can prompt kids to think about the relative positions of the objects in the scene -- the spider went "up the waterspout," "down came the rain," it "washed the spider out," then "up came the sun" -- and how they relate to the story told in the song. Don't forget to sing along, or record your own rendition!

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What's It Like?

Itsy Bitsy Spider - by Duck Duck Moose is a sing-along app that uses the familiar song's lyrics and setting to create an interactive experience in which students can learn about nature, music, and cause-and-effect. Kids can listen to insect narrator Chloe sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider," or they can record their own version of the song or a story on the app. Chloe, a fly, also provides simple one- or two-sentence lessons, like "A spider has eight legs," or "The Sun is a star that is very hot. Even though the sun is very far from the Earth, it gives us lots of heat and light." Not detailed scientific explanations, but enough info for beginners. Kids can also tap the spider, other objects, kids, or animals on the screen for an interactive surprise.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Interactive elements include mini-nature lessons, like a caterpillar morphing into a cocoon and then into a butterfly. A few act like fun mini-games, like the floating hats that kids have to tap at just the right time to have them land on the spider's head. Through the Itsy-Bitsy Spider theme, they learn about plants, nature, animals, and even a bit of counting. Plus, if kids record their own song or story, they can learn a bit about technology and how it works to record and replay a real voice.

A few more audio and visual prompts to clue kids into how to navigate the app would make for a better overall experience. Currently, the opening screen includes a couple of written instructions in words that kids new to reading may or may not be able to read ("Poke" and "Slide the hat up") and there are no audio directions at all. Adding some highlights to interactive objects or a few verbal instructions between song lines may help ease navigation confusion.These changes would catapult this "good" app into "great" status.

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