Great variety of high interest puzzle themes introducing lots of basic and advanced vocabulary.
What we’d love to see…
A choice of lower or upper case for display of vocabulary words.
A unique puzzle and mini-game app that is engaging and meaningful with enormous amount of content for building a rich vocabulary.
PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro) is more than just a puzzle app. It is an extensive vocabulary app where the subjects are presented through different types of toddler and preschool puzzles. And these are not the average puzzles that you find in other puzzle apps. The puzzles in Puzzingo are both engaging and meaningful while the gameplay is ingenious. I’m totally impressed.
The vocabulary words are grouped according to themes or categories which helps children develop skills in sorting and classifying objects. Besides learning the name and sound of each object, they also learn what goes together. You can help your child to gain more knowledge and develop analytical skills by highlighting the similarities or relationship between the different objects.
Each themed pack of puzzles consists of 7 groups of puzzles focusing on 7 different topics within the theme e.g. the core concepts pack includes puzzles on shapes, colors, numbers, counting, emotions, alphabet and weather. Currently there is a total of 22 puzzle packs included in the app covering core concepts, food, professions, holidays, animals, space, life of toys, bugs, pets, dinosaurs, pirates, princesses & fairies, sports, music, fairy tales, super heroes, cars, trains, airplanes, trucks and candy kingdom. What is important to note is that there is a wide variety of high interest themes for younger children to choose from.
From an educator’s perspective, I like that the words introduced in each group help to build a rich vocabulary. Learners can see the print (in upper case) and hear the associated word read aloud when they touch each object puzzle, which in turn helps with labelling and word recognition. It is a great app for use in speech therapy. Besides learning the US English language, learners can also learn the vocabulary in Spanish, UK English, Chinese and Japanese.
While I’m impressed with the enormous amount of content that kids can potentially learn from the app, what I find refreshing is the format of the app’s gameplay – how it extends the play from one puzzle game to another meaningfully.
Each pack of puzzles consist of 2 types of puzzles, 1-piece puzzles and layered puzzles. Each 1-piece puzzles are easy to complete but each of these puzzle piece brings players to a more challenging layered puzzle. The layered puzzles show the many parts and layers that make up the object shown on the 1-piece puzzle piece. Players learn the names of these parts as they build the object puzzle piece-by-piece. In some cases, the parts could be items that are associated with the theme. For example, the soccer puzzle game introduces terms like goalie, goal, photographer, camera, signs, cone, players, injured player, medics, forward, midfielder, defender, soccer ball, jersey, cleats and shin guards.
Regardless the total number of puzzle pieces that kids have to put in place in order to complete a puzzle game, the app presents only 2 pieces at any one time so that kids won’t get overwhelmed. Another toddler-friendly support comes in the form of prompts that show kids where to place the puzzle piece when they placed the piece incorrectly repeatedly.
Once a puzzle game is completed, players are rewarded with an interactive mini-game that helps them to explore further on the theme. Kids can fly an airplane, conduct a band, dress up a character, score a goal, feed a dinosaur, drive a vehicle, play with the toys and many more activities. The games are varied and deliver so much fun with their cute animations and sound effects that they may just overshadow the puzzles in terms of popularity with kids. Repeat play is guaranteed.
If you have a preschooler at home, you definitely need to get Puzzingo. The free version Puzzingo Puzzles offers 7 sets of puzzles and mini-games and a free daily puzzle from one of the themed puzzle packs that is available for purchase. You can purchase individual puzzle packs or an All-Access Pass. This Pass allows your child to play with more than 150 puzzles and enjoy new content and games through regular updates. The latest update for the 2017 Holidays offers the Trucks Puzzles pack and Toys Puzzles pack which are perfect gifts for the holiday season!
With Puzzingo, completing a puzzle becomes meaningful and purposeful. Preschoolers are exposed to lots of vocabulary words from a wide range of topics while reaping the benefits of completing puzzles like spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, matching and fine-motor skills. With so much content in a single app, I’m positive that your preschoolers will have many favorite puzzles to keep them busy learning and playing.
Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
fun accessible #stem themed app that teaches colors with a space perfect for toddlers or those learning colors
What we’d love to see…
a sticker type game or perhaps painting with colors on a space themed background, a page where each Wootzy said their color
Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme. Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.
STEM Storiez – Wootzy Col0rs by Zyrobotics is a universal app for iOS which features #stem learning. The app features science, technology, engineering, and math skills and also is usable with the Zumo bluetooth turtle for those with accessibility challenges. The app features a variety Wootzys in different colors each with a different space themed interactive background.The stories feature narration, voice/music, the ability to “type out e-book text” which means text appears as is it read. Each of these can be toggled in the settings, and navigation is at the bottom of each page via arrows. The app can be used via the touchscreen on your iPad/iPhone or via a play stylus as well as the buttons of the touch screen Zumo turtle. Each time you touch the screen an interactive element is triggered like the Wootzy moving, a musical sound, or animation. The app can use a stylus, however, I reviewed it on the iPad as well as with Zumo Turtle.
One of my favorite things about the app was the level of customization that you can do. I loved that you can remove/add sounds as well as change the size of the text on the screen. The story is interactive and engaging for kids with on device learning. Each color is introduced on a different page and the user is encouraged to say the name of the color. My toddler loved the rhythmic sound of the story with “what planet is this? What Wootzy lives here” and was able to repeat the text while we practiced his colors. I also liked that you could turn on and off the voice/music so I could read it to my son and we could then “practice” what color is this? Using the Zumo turtle connected via Bluetooth, my toddler was in control. I loved that he could tap on the turtle to move the pages back and forth because at times the arrows were a bit hard for him to navigate.
In terms of improvements, I would like to see a fun activity at the end of the app after the story is completed to practice colors. It could be painting, or stickers with the items from each page which would engage kids and also allow them to demonstrate that they understood the colors. I’d also like to see a page that featured all of the colors where you could tap on each Wootzy to hear them say their color.
There are no-in app purchases or advertisments, and the parental area is gated with a math problem. The settings area does not have a parental gate, but there are no external links, you can simply turn on and off the various items. Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme. Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.
Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
highly educational, easily digestible information, beautiful graphics, fun and engaging
What we’d love to see…
it is great as is, but perhaps just a brief description of the sun, moon, and planet parts
A fun astronomy app that helps children get a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd is a fantastic app to get children excited about the great outer space. It is based on the book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by Dr. Dominic Walliman (quantum physicist) and Ben Newman (illustrator). It teaches astronomy in an a way that is interesting and easy to understand. The graphics in the app stays true to Ben Newman’s illustrations and has a beautiful retro look and feel.
Before playing the game, players must first create their user profile by choosing a cat avatar and entering their name. They will then get a short introduction and tutorial on how to play and navigate the app. While there is no narration or verbal audio in this app, you can play it in eight different written languages: US English, UK English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System explores the sun, planets, moon, and space travel. There are four areas of learning. First, on the left side of the screen are what I like to call fast facts. These are bits of trivia that are explained further when you click on the (+) icon beside each fact. Both trivia and detailed explanations contain only a sentence or two, making them easy to learn and remember, never overwhelming. Second, the planet/sun/moon unzips to reveal what it looks like inside For example, the earth unzips to reveal the core, mantle, and crust. This also contains some information about its physical features, such as whether it has atmosphere or not. Third, there is a fun “special featurette” on the right side of the screen. This is an area where one specific feature is highlighted and explored just a bit further. On Earth, for example it explains and illustrates why we have seasons, and on Mercury, it has a computer that allows you to calculate your Mercurian age. Some of these are just illustrations with a little more reading, and some are interactive. Fourth and finally, is the Jetpack Challenge. The Jetpack Challenge is a true or false quiz on the fast facts, unzipping, and special feature sections. It contains 10 questions that change each time it is played. If players get at least 9 out 10 right, they get awarded 3 stars, a medal, and parts to build a rocket. They then get to build the rocket from the bottom up. Once the rocket is complete, players get to ride it and blast off into space!
In addition to these great learning activities, it also has a feature where players can view a model of the solar system. The model shows the rotation and revolution of the planets around the sun, and can be viewed closer or further away. There is also a feature that helps children grasp the differing sizes of the sun, moon, and planets by comparing them to the size they would be if they were fruits and vegetables.
I love this app and my children absolutely enjoy it. My son, in particular, went through it in just two days, and I have been truly impressed at how much information he has retained after playing this app. I watched him take a Jetpack Challenge and pass it with flying colors. At this point there is nothing I can think of that I would like to see in future updates, except perhaps for a brief explanation of what the parts of the planet/sun/moon are when it is unzipped. I believe this app is best suited for children ages 7 and up, and I highly recommend it.
Astro Cat’s Solar System
by Minilab Ltd
Price: $3.99 USD
Apple TV Best of 2016
\\ 2016 Webby Award Winner - Best App, Family & Kids ///
*** Pay once & play forever! No in-app purchases! No third party Advertising! ***
Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
Kids can suit up and learn great facts about being an astronaut, rockets, shuttles, space stations, the solar system, the universe and get involved using the many interactive points through each learning section.
In the rocket section, they can experience a rocket propulsion, a lunar module taking off, put parts of rockets together or create their own countdown! I know I’ve always wanted to do that!
In the shuttle section, kids can learn about satellites, be a shuttle pilot and play with rockets. In the space station section, they can have fun finding out about how astronauts live on space stations, eat, sleep, cut their hair and deal with zero gravity. This part was one of my daughter’s favourite section by far. She loved playing with her little astronaut friend in space.
In the solar system section, children can learn about the planets, their distance to the sun, their size, how long they spin around themselves and how many years the planets take to orbit the sun. They can understand where earth and the moon fit in the solar system and learn about the sun too.
Last but not least, the universe section is interesting as it goes through the history of scientists, astronauts, animals in space and how old the universe it.
We cannot fault the app really, you can tell that the creators of this app spent a great deal of time thinking about an easy way to navigate, some great graphics and fun facts about science. The only tiny thing is that some parts of the app have a lot of text some of which isn’t narrated!
Overall, we love this beautifully illustrated, nicely narrated, fun and educational app! Mums and dads can learn a thing or two about space and the universe using this app. The app is very easy to use and kids can go click happy through each section all while learning a great deal about science.
Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.
The iMums is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The iMums (amazon.com)