PUZZINGO Educational Puzzle
App Name: PUZZINGO – Educational Toddler Puzzle
Mom’s Rating: 5/5
Kids’ Rating: 5/5
Recommended Grades/Ages: Toddlers, Preschool, Kindergarten
Skills Developed: ABCs, Numbers, Letters, Animals, Puzzle
Available On/Price: Universal (iPhone/iPod/iPad) – $1.99
Also available for Android devices at Amazon – $1.99
Reviewed on: iPod and iPad
PUZZINGO is an immersive educational shape puzzle for small children. Set in a circus, children get to shake presents to unlock the main attractions on the circus map which when tapped lead to big, fully interactive puzzles filled with items to tap, fun sound effects, and high energy completion celebrations.
The main attractions are numbers, alphabets, farm animals, ocean animals, toys, and jungle animals. When your child visits the main attraction she will be able to build each puzzle bit by bit in layers to create a full, interactive puzzle that says the names of each object when taped along with a sound effects.
An encouraging narrator praises your child’s efforts, and there is a big balloon-popping extravaganza at the end of each puzzle (balloons can also be played with from the main circus map on demand when the cannon is tapped).
There are over one hundred, bright, colorful, interactive shaped puzzle pieces in the app, and they are all presented two or so at a time in the side puzzle piece drawer to make it easy for small children to complete the puzzles independently.
There is an option to set the puzzle for small kids and big kids – small kids have the present boxes containing the main event pieces open with one tap, big kids need to shake the presents. Small kids have easier snap-to options than the big kids do to – either way, all the puzzles are easy to complete
There is also an option to turn music on and off and an option to reset the circus so your children can build it all over again. There is even a bonus mystery puzzle included, you can read more about that here.
What We Liked:
My girls had played with PUZZINGO quite a bit before we were asked if we could review it. I gladly agreed because my little ones (and even my big one) really enjoyed using it. My five-year-old likes putting the number candles on the cake puzzle the best (although playing with the guitar and drum in the toys puzzle is a close second), my three-year-old really likes the animal puzzles, and I…ahem, like popping the ABC balloons that come out in order as the ABC song is played after the alphabet puzzle is completed.
Shape puzzles are definitely the easiest type of puzzle for children to get started with, kids tap a shaped puzzle piece and fit it into the empty black matching shape on the colorful background. Whether the app is set for little kids or big kids, any signs of confusion (multiple taps without puzzle piece placement) will bring up helpful arrows that will actually direct your child, showing them where to put the puzzle piece. This makes it a great first puzzle and with all of the interactivity, it’s really fun too.
The interface for PUZZINGO is pretty unique – building a circus puzzle that has smaller puzzles within it, but it’s intuitive and easy for children to learn. All of the puzzle pieces have their names written underneath them when they are in the puzzle shelf (creating a word-rich environment), and they say their names not only when they are tapped, but also after they are in the puzzle, which makes this a good vocabulary builder as well.
And, let’s just say that you’ll never have to buy another balloon popping app again – PUZZINGO has balloons in spades and they’re very well done. The entire app, in fact, is well designed and easy for children to navigate.
What We Didn’t Like:
This is really minor, but some of the objects don’t have realistic sounds associated with them, one example is the seahorse that whinnies when tapped (but then…what sound DOES A seahorse make…hmmm). This isn’t necessarily a dislike, but parents might want to know that the numbers and letters aren’t served up in order (1-9, a-z) but instead are presented in a seemingly random order.
PUZZINGO is a great first puzzle that combines the vital visual matching skills that puzzles develop along with early learning educational content like numbers, letters, and animals.
Have you downloaded this app? Let us know what you and your children thought – leave a comment!