Bug Mazing – Adventures in Learning

There’s a whole world out there beneath our feet, ruled by the Mighty Bug King along with his knights and princesses. Little Bit Studio does it again and adds to their series with a focus on basic pre school and Kindergarten curricula, improving visual memory, problem-solving, and motor planning. Bug Mazing - Adventures is packed with numerous activities to pursue, ensuring long shelf life and the content alone is well worth the price for any preschooler. Graphics are simply outstanding as is the narration and sound effects. This app is a delight to the senses and has a playful and conspiratory feel of sneaking off on a great adventure. Every child I played this with was enthralled with this new world and wanted to play it again and again.

On opening we find a choice board giving us a chance to make decisions… ”Do we want to play with Numbers, Letters, Colors, Tracing or to go on an Adventure?” Each activity consists of a maze to follow in order to fulfill a quest. The child must visually scan and then come up with a plan of action - i.e. following a color pattern from the starting to the finish line. It is not as easy as you may think, there are all sorts of obstacles thrown in your path. Thankfully if you get stuck, a friendly Hero Bug will come to the rescue and escort you back to the start so that you can try again. Let’s explore each of the activities.

First up are numbers! Here my young Hero Beetle must navigate a maze by counting anywhere from 1-20. This is simply brilliant from an integration point of view. Not only are kids learning how to count and deal with predicting what comes next, but also need to strategize what will happen in the future. “Do you choose the four on the right or the four that connects with the five, six and seven?” This helps to introduce the concepts of time and space on an experiential level – perfect for setting the ground for learning math.

Alphabetizing letters and following a pathway for color patterns are in the next two selections of Letters and Colors. I like how the maze format also helps with directionality and dissociating right from left and top from bottom. This helps form the basis for letter and number recognition and is a precursor for reading and writing. The narration is warm, supportive and encouraging, and the sound effects are fun. All quests are rewarded with tokens and jewels and a chance to earn more bugs, and I have to say it is quite satisfying to see the big pile of swag you’ve amassed. Loved the princes's bug, complete with hat and beautiful tresses.

By avoiding the blockages in Tracing, you learn to control and coordinate your markings to the pathway – a great early visual motor exercise. This is also an excellent app to begin using a writing implement such as a stylus. With little effort expended, a child can view the results of their markings and learn to handle a tool.

In the Adventure game, your mission is to save the king. Using a quick peek at the map you need to rely on visual memory and then plan to make your way to the castle. This is the chance to apply all that you’ve learned in the other segments. Here is a picture of the King, awarding the Hero Bug with a token.

Benefits:

• Promotes laterality and direction
• Develops visual memory and the ability to retain directives and rules
• Develops early visual motor skills in a fun engaging virtual environment
• Practice in planning and foreseeing potential obstacles in future actions
• Facilitates graded control and executing a motor plan