Tiggly is a California- based app developer that is known for both its high quality educational apps and it’s Tiggly toys. They have just launched a new series of educational apps for young children aged 4-8 years old- Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales and Tiggly Doctor. The 3 apps work on different early literacy skills and can be used in sequence or on their own. They all are very engaging with bright, colorful graphics and animations but they all have their own unique character.
Tiggly Submarine: Explore the Depths of Short Vowels & Phonics
In Tiggly Submarine the child can explore a bright, colorful underwater world in their own “Yellow Submarine.” It is really easy for little ones to explore as the submarine just follows their finger to move up, down , back and forward. There are lots of fun interactions for them to discover and 4 learning stations. I love the little details in this app such as how the screen darkens as they get close to the ocean floor and then the submarine’s headlamp comes on to help them explore the ocean depths. This app focuses on words with short vowel sounds.
The learning stations are: the Octopus’ Picnic, the Elevator, the Turtle’s House and the Sea Cave.
In the Octopus’ Picnic 5 vowel fish are hanging out with the octopus. The child needs to tap on a vowel fish which then creates a word containing that short vowel sound. All the words are food items and after the word is shown the hungry octopus gets to eat the food item.
At the Tiggly Elevator they can discover new words starting with each of the 5 short vowel sounds, they can tap on a vowel to choose a word starting with that sound or tap the elevator doors for a random choice. These include familiar words such as alligator or umbrella and less familiar ones such as ichthyosaur or escolar. As the elevator doors open each of the creatures has something to say my favorite is the ichthyosaur who comments “extinct, nah, I was just stuck in the elevator.”
At the Turtle’s House the turtle illustrates different words with short vowel sounds in the middle. The child can choose which vowel is featured or knock on the door for the turtle’s pick. Some of the word illustrations will get the kids giggling such as “blush” which shows the turtle blushing as he is caught on the toilet.
Lurking in the Sea Cave are characters with short vowel sounds in the middle of their name. The child needs to touch the correct vowel and then the character’s name will be spoken and it will be sucked out of the cave by the submarine’s vacuum. At first the child sees the name and picture for the character, later just the picture, but if they get stuck the name will reappear. I did notice an occasional character such as the skunk that didn’t have his name spoken.
Summary: Tiggly Submarine’s learning games are a fun way to start learning about words with short vowel sounds, its illustrations are rich, colorful and engaging, and it is fun to just explore and interact with the underwater world. Every time I play this app I get Beetles songs playing in my head between the Yellow Submarine and the Octopus’ Garden!
iTunes link: Tiggly Submarine: Explore the Depths of Short Vowels & Phonics – Tiggly
Tiggly Submarine: Preschool ABC Game
Price: $2.99 USD
Come join Tiggly in an underwater world of vowel exploration and new word discovery! A hungry octopus, a tinkering turtle, and sea of vowel fish are just some of the hilarious characters you’ll meet.
Tiggly Tales: Word Building & Storytelling Kids Game
In Tiggly Tales the child gets to play with creating 3 letter CVC words. 2 consonants appear on the screen and the child taps one of the 5 vowels to choose to add it to make a CVC word. If it is a real word it is spoken and a picture representing the word appears on the screen. If it isn’t a real word a big spring appears and boing! it shoots the vowel right off the screen! Some of the objects created leave the screen quickly, but others hang around and interact with new words. When choosing words for h_n you can create a hen (who will lay eggs) and a hun (as in Attila the…) who will chase the hen.
The child can create a word multiple times if for instance they want to create a herd of pigs or a bunch of fans. The objects will interact with each other too, the fan will blow things away, you can catch a bag in a bug, and the cab will pick up a pug (but not any other animal!) When they have tired of making words with a set of letters they can switch out one or both consonants.
A drop down menu lets children save pictures they have created and even create videos. With the videos the “Tales” part of the app comes to life, as the child can use the objects they have created to tell a story as an short animated video complete with narration.
Summary: Tiggly Tales is a really fun way for children to explore CVC words and see how changing one vowel can totally change the meaning of a word. I really like how the child can play with the illustrations, have them interact with each other and create their own videos with them, it really brings the word’s meaning to life.
Tiggly Story Maker: Make Words and Capture Your Stories About Them
Price: $2.99 USD
*** Winner of the Play Advances Language (PAL) Award***
Tiggly Doctor: Check up on your verbs in this fun spelling game
Tiggly Doctor is the third app in the series and in it the player learns action verbs. The app starts in a doctor’s waiting room, where the player is the doctor and 3 patients are waiting to be seen. The characters in the app remind me of Sesame Street characters – they are a motley crew with some very unusual ailments!
The player first selects a patient from the waiting room and then in the examination room they need to examine them and fix them up. For many of the ailments this involves multiple steps each with its own action verb. For each step the child is presented with an action verb that is missing 1 or more vowels, they have the 5 vowels on the screen and they tap the correct one to complete the word. Often the right verb is darker than the rest to help them make the correct choice, but occasionally it isn’t, this seemed a little random as to when this occurred, this may be because I tested a pre-release copy. Once the word is complete they hear it spoken and can perform the action or watch it being performed.The patients have some pretty unusual ailments, for instance a patient has a musical arm- the x-ray shows his radius and ulna act like a trombone. To fix it the doctor must first “grip” the bone, “ping” it with a reflex hammer to break it, “extract” the extra bone piece then “pin” the break. After playing through the game a few times they will see the same actions performed with different words to describe it.
Some of the verbs are simple e.g. cut, and others much more complex such as unsportsmanlike or mouthwatering.
Summary: Tiggly Doctor introduces over 200 action verbs in series of fun interactive mini-games. The children learn how the word is spelled and get to perform its actions to really understand its meaning.
Tiggly Doctor: Spell Verbs and Perform Actions Like a Real Doctor
Price: $2.99 USD
***2015 CREATIVE PLAY OF THE YEAR AWARD***
Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales and Tiggly Doctor are all innovative, highly engaging, high quality apps, they each have their own unique character but really high quality engaging illustrations and animations and a sense of humor are characteristics of all 3 apps. They are both fun and educational and I would highly recommend them.
Tiggly Words Toy
The Tiggly Words Toy is a collection of 5 physical vowels that interact with the app on the iPad. They are brightly colored, solid plastic letters with a rubbery surface. They have touch points on the base so the app recognizes which letter it is when touched to the screen. The apps are fully functional without the Toy, but using them adds another dimension to the learning process. I think that using manipulatives does really help children to learn and I love that using the toy with the app makes it a a multi-sensory learning process. The toy costs $29.99 from Tiggly.com or Amazon and includes the 3 apps (valued at $8.97)
To celebrate the launch of Tiggly words Tiggly have offered our readers two giveaways !! We have a giveaway for Tiggly Tales app which is open worldwide, and a giveaway for the Tiggly Math Toy and apps (RRP $29.99) open to USA only. Please enter via the widgets below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.