Subscribe to The Horn Book

Pet Bingo app review

pet bingo 2I wish I had had Pet Bingo (Duck Duck Moose/Khan Academy, 2015; iOS and Android) when I was in elementary school. It combines one of my favorite things, pets, with one of my least favorite things, the necessary evil that is math, for math practice that is actually kinda…fun. (Here’s another math app I like for the same spoonful-of-sugar reason.)

After you create a user profile, the app opens on the “Pet Store,” a menu with options for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division exercises. Each has easy, medium, and hard categories; tap “?” to get a randomized exercise and difficulty level. Once you’ve selected your activity, you’ll find a screen with a math problem on the left side and a bingo card on the right. Tap the correct number to solve your problem and get a stamp on your bingo card. An incorrect answer gets you a gentle boing sound and a new problem to solve. If you need a little help, tap the “?” icon next to the problem for a visualization.

pet bingo 4

Getting bingo for the first time wins you a weird-but-adorable seal/snail hybrid pet, which then lives in your “Pet Pen.” These critters pop in and out of the bingo card as you play, making sweet noises of encouragement. Subsequent bingos, in any of the activities, earn you snacks for your pet and (every four bingos or so) additional pets. Go to the Pet Pen to name your pets, feed them and help them grow, and watch them nap or waddle around the pen. The pets don’t really do a whole lot, but they sure are cute.

pet bingo 1

Often the correct answer to the problem appears in multiple places, so choosing the one that will get you closer to bingo makes the whole process a bit faster. But even without this kind of strategery, the rounds are pretty short — which keeps the rewards coming quickly and, by extension, frustration levels low. Rounded shapes, a candy-colored palette, and jazzy music make for a cheerful experience.

The “Report Card” section for parents shows the user’s scores for each of the four types of math, broken down into many individual concepts (e.g., “Adding two numbers that total 10,” “Subtracting double digit numbers”).

pet bingo 3

This section also offers a brief explanation of the app’s curricular basis (K–4 Math Common Core State Standards) and links to Duck Duck Moose’s website and its other apps.

An engaging, educational supplement or alternative to virtual pet games like Pokémon Go.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 6.0 or later) and Android devices; free. Recommended for primary and intermediate users.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind