Woozzle is a cute name for a puzzle app, a good start as far as trying to be noticed in a very saturated area of the app market. It is designed by Swan Soft, and a visit to their website gets the user something fun—an accompanying printable coloring book. This tie-in to hands-on activities is a great addition, one I wish more app developers would do.
Woozzle contains 24 puzzles, all appropriate for the toddler age range and including a car, bee, pancakes, tractor, and bird. Each picture breaks down into a manageable number of pieces, most from four to six. If a piece is placed in the wrong spot, it pops back to the line of pieces running across the bottom of the screen. I like this format far more than apps in which the piece stays in the wrong spot.
The pieces themselves, however, are a bit odd. Many aren't "full" pieces that come together to make a picture, as in most wood puzzles. For example, when building the hamburger, instead of dragging a full hamburger patty into the puzzle, the player drags just the small parts of the patty that are seen in the image. So, the patty looks a bit like wings.
This app is also missing a necessity in an app designed for young children—after completing the puzzle, there is a generic positive reinforcement phrase, but the picture itself is not named. Most toddlers don’t need to hear something like, “Well done!” “You are doing great!” or “You are a genius!” Even older kids don’t need the superlatives after every completed puzzle.
Instead, when the house puzzle is complete, naming (including the print word as well is even better) the object is the best way to help a child learn, and is just as motivating. I especially like it when the word is then used in a context-appropriate sentence, like, “I want to ride the rocking horse,” or “Let’s eat a hot dog!”
Additionally, the images utilized aren't great for a toddler. There is a pacifier, a house and a baby toy, but they are combined with a hamburger, slice of pizza, waffles with whipped cream, etc.
There are a few settings—the background music can be turned off, and reward sounds can also be eliminated. The app can be used in 10 different languages—the language mostly impacts the reward phrases heard when a puzzle is complete.
With its shortcomings, Woozzle is hard to recommend over any of the other puzzle apps already out there such as Puzzingo, which offers far better content for free.
If you would like to purchase Woozzle Wood Puzzle For Toddlers ($0.99 for iPad/iPhone) please support Smart Apps for Kids by using this link button:
Heather Hetler is the mother of 3 children (10, 8, 5) and the soon-to-be Speech-Language Pathologist in an elementary school. After successfully completing each puzzle, she now knows she is a genius who does a great job. Hooray!