Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Squiggles!

Squiggles! was developed by Lazoo Worldwide, Inc. and is a drawing app aimed at preschoolers as most of what you draw are squiggly lines. You might be thinking, "All you draw is squiggly lines?!! What's the point?" Well, it's actually a cute app. After you draw the lines, which are part of a template of cars, or beginnings of cotton candy, you can set the picture in motion where the lines become the motion of the car, or the swirls of cotton candy. This is actually kinda a similar idea to my last review, Magic Doodles, but for younger kids. Also included is an e-book about an adventure with Miku and Bobu that of course involves squiggles. Price: Free (right now, at least).

Device Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later.


Developmental Appropriateness: As you can tell from my intro, I was a little skeptical at first, but I think this app won me over. It's a nice way to encourage young kids, who may not be able to draw much yet, to draw and be more imaginative for what they can create than on straight up paper pencil. The e-book is pretty cute too. I actually wonder why it is not a larger part of the app - it actually can be pretty easily missed. On the main menu, there are two icons - one for an instructional animated video with Miku and Babu for what to do in the drawing app and how to make your squiggles work and then the book, neither icons are flashy. I'd almost even say the book should be the prime, and the drawing is the activity tied to the book. That being said, although much of the book has to do with squiggles, I wish more of the interactivity was for the reader to make the squiggles that functioned as part of the plot so that it's more of a hands-on book. In terms of the drawing app, it's pretty kid-friendly, easy-to-use. If the target is 2-3-year-olds, I'd even make the tools at the bottom bigger. Rating: 4/5 (aim for around 3 years)


Balance: The overall feel of the app is very kid-oriented with plenty of instruction. Some of the features in the e-book are more frivolous than others. Like I mentioned, it would be great if it could incorporate some of the interactivity of the drawing part. Rating: 4/5


Sustainability: The story is cute, and the drawing is fun, so it's a great deal - kinda like two apps in one. You can also save your drawings and share with others. Rating: 5/5


Parental Involvement: Although there is not quite a direct role for parents, there is plenty for them to do - read the story together, help with the drawings and use them as conversation starters, etc. Given the young age this app targets, parents will likely have to be involved as well. Rating: 4/5


Total: 17 out of 20: 4 stars

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