Most adults are scared of bugs of some kind. Whether it’s ants or spiders, most of us get pretty squeamish around creatures with six or more legs. My daughter is different than most adults, but I don’t think she’s different from most other kids. She loves bugs! Children of all ages seem to be fascinated by the creepy critters. That’s why their inclusion in apps for preschoolers isn’t that surprising. In this second edition of Ana’s Apps (a column and video about apps my daughter loves) I’ll be taking a look at Bugs and Buttons and Bugs and Buttons 2 made by Little Bit Studio.
Bugs and Buttons
This first installment in what has become quite a few “bug” games from the same developer is a lot of fun. It contains 18 mini-games, some of which are educational and some of which are just plain fun. They all revolve around pretty realistic-looking insects and colorful buttons. You’ll find ants, bees, beetles, dragonflies, ladybugs, and butterflies in the game, along with a slew of buttons.
These mini-games include everything from drawing mazes to connecting dots to identifying letters, colors, and patterns. For example, Factory Sorter has you organizing bugs into bins. These bugs are on a conveyor belt littered with buttons of the same color. The conveyor belt gradually starts moving faster and containing more and more buttons that look like bugs. Letter Train, another mini-game, has you selecting the correct letter to complete a set of letters from the alphabet. In addition, lots of the games help with fine motor skills, making kids not only tap but also pinch things on the screen. By doing well in the games, kids can earn stamps, which are saved in a stamp book. They can go back and look at the stamps they’ve earned at any time.
Bugs and Buttons 2
Like Bugs and Buttons, Bugs and Buttons 2 includes 18 mini-games containing a variety of bugs and buttons. There are quite a few more “gamey” mini-games in this app. For instance, Pond Jumper has you moving a lily pad back and forth to catch bugs and buttons before they fall in the water. In RC Racer, you drive a little car down a path and try to avoid obstacles.
But Bugs and Buttons 2 isn’t without its educational mini-games. There are still a lot of games that involve pattern, letter, and number recognition, as well as a music game that shows the letters of musical notes and where their corresponding keys appear on a piano. There’s also a freeplay option in the music game that just lets your little one play around on the piano. Puppet Show is a Simon Says-style game about body parts in which kids are asked to touch or not touch things like hands, feet, and eyes on a funny-looking puppet. The mini-game Guess What has a pond skimmer drawing a shape in the water who then asks you correctly identify the shape from a number of options.
Bugs and Buttons 2 also includes a stamp book, but it has the added element of Morty. Morty is a funny little beetle who periodically pops up in the mini-games. Tapping on him will earn you a special stamp. One of the fun things to do is look for Morty when you’re playing a game.
Both Bugs and Buttons and Bugs and Buttons 2 are $2.99 each on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. That makes these games a pretty incredible value. They definitely offer you a lot of play time for a very low price.
More Bugs Apps
There are a quite a few apps revolving around bugs available from the same developer as Bugs and Buttons, such as Bugs and Bubbles and Bugs and Numbers. Ana and I haven’t tried those out yet, but you can look for details on them in a future installment of Ana’s Apps.