If you have a pet at home, be it a dog or even some fish in an aquarium, your kids will probably know what it’s like to care and nurture animals. But for people who don’t or can’t have pets for some reason, they often find the appeal of having a digital pet — something similar to Tamagotchi, which I enjoyed playing back in 1996.
This week, one of our favorite developers, StoryToys, released an interactive 3D app that lets your kids care and nurture their very own caterpillar. Taken from Eric Carle’s much-loved character, The Very Hungry Caterpillar™, your kids will feed and play with their caterpillar until it turns into a beautiful butterfly.
Feed, Explore, and Play
You start by hatching your very first caterpillar from a white egg. Tap the egg several times until you meet the cute green caterpillar. You can feed it with apples, oranges, pears, and blueberries. A progress bar on top of the screen shows whether your caterpillar is still hungry or not.
But, there’s more to this app than just feeding a very hungry caterpillar. You can explore the surrounding area. For example, you can find a small garden, a toy box, and even a pond.
In the small garden, you can grow flowers and strawberries. Put the seeds in the pots and water them every chance you get. After a few sleep cycles, the flowers will grow bigger and the strawberries will be ready for the caterpillar to eat.
Inside the toy box, you can find a colorful ball, a toy set to create soap bubbles, a mechanical ladybug toy, and a swing. The caterpillar loves to push the bouncing ball around, pop the soap bubbles, and play with the ladybug. To play with the swing, you drag the caterpillar onto the hanging tree and tilt your iPad from one direction to the other.
You can also take the caterpillar for a boat ride in the pond, where it can play with rubber ducks.
Next to the hunger bar, you will see the happiness bar. The happiness progress bar will fill up each time you water the plants or play with the caterpillar. Once your caterpillar is full and happy, it’s time for you to call it a day. Have it lay down on top of the tree log and cover it with a leaf.
When the caterpillar wakes up, it’s a brand new day. The caterpillar grows bigger and is ready to eat and play. After a few cycles, you will find a cocoon instead of a caterpillar. By peeling the cocoon, you will free a beautiful butterfly.
Parents Need to Know
My Very Hungry Caterpillar is a part of the StoryToys Jr. line of educational apps. The other apps in this category include a counting app called Farm 123, a simple sight words app called Touch, Look, Listen: My First Words, a nursery rhymes app called Animal Band, and a short bedtime story called Goodnight Mo.
Earlier this year, StoryToys also released a mini-encyclopedia app called The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends, which features all the characters from the original book. Inside the mini-encyclopedia, you can learn about various topics such as metamorphosis and how to grow a seed into flowers.
Things I Like
My three-year-old really loves to play with this app. He even adds in his own sound effects as he plays with the caterpillar. For example, he would make quacking sounds when he moves the rubber ducks around. Or, he would giggle each time when the mechanical ladybug bumps into the caterpillar.
The app is very well developed. The 3D animation is really smooth, and navigating between areas is really easy. While you can move the caterpillar by tapping a target destination on screen, you can also swipe your way across several areas to make it move more quickly.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great 3D interactive app for kids ages 3+ to learn how to care and nurture animals. It’s also a great way to learn about metamorphosis. Every butterfly you grow will be added to the app and fly around as you take care of your next caterpillar. As of now, my three-year-old is aiming for his fifth butterfly.
App was provided for our honest review.