Bottom Line: Fun, accessible way for children 4-7 years old to use technology and learn more about the world around them.
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GazziliScience is the newest and most advanced app to join the lineup from GazziliWorld. It features six different lessons that expose kids to plants, the water cycle, seasons, the five senses, living (non-living) and sink or float. Through the interactive activities and guided learning experiences in each of these carefully crafted tableaux, youngsters witness basic principles of biology, physics, astronomy and meteorology at work.
The first activity is "How does your garden grow" hosted by Mimi. Kids are guided through digging a hole in the soil, putting in a seed, watering it and watching as sunlight makes it grow. There are plenty of hints on what to do as the narrator verbally gives directions, the instructions and explanations of the scientific process appear as printed text for the hearing impaired, and objects shake or get the star sparkle when they need to be tapped. Kids have an active role throughout the growth cycle as they are given tasks to complete each step of the way.
The other lessons have a similar combination of explanation and interactivity. Lilly takes kids through the water cycle when she has the bad luck to be caught at the park during a rainstorm. Benito watches the change in seasons and has to dress accordingly with a little help. Kenji has the most fun since he gets to visit the pet store and select a living pet and some nonliving things for its habitat. Purple has the challenging task of navigating an underwater maze using floating buoys or sinking ballast that are needed to move through it. After completing the first five activities, kids can unlock the five senses and share some delicious smelling and tasting apple pie with Tyler.
Most of the activities have multiple choices for the child to make so each time through the activities is a little different and assures there is enough replay value to keep the app fun. A lesson can in this way be repeated for clarity without it being the same. Mimi has a choice of planting sunflowers, roses or an apple tree. At the pet store, Kenji can opt to bring home a hamster, chameleon or fish.
Making choices and following directions are valuable skills for children of this age to practice over and above the science so I appreciate how multiple opportunities to do each are worked into the lessons. In addition to the six scientific studies, there is also a fun page where kids get to help build a crazy machine to deliver food to Cleo the cat and Theo, a dog.
I love the hands-on approach Gazzili has taken to presenting these subjects. Kids this age learn best by doing. They are naturally curious and ask millions of questions. Why does it rain, why does the sun shine, where does food come from? GazziliScience attempts to answer some of these questions and provide children a foundation from which to understand these mysterious scientific truths. The content is simple and age appropriate without being watered down. New vocabulary like roots, stems, precipitation, evaporation and orbit is presented in a very meaningful way and is likely to stick with kids long after they move on to a new field of discovery.
As much as I appreciate the concept and intent of GazziliScience, it does have some kinks to work out. The narration was cut off in places during playtime with Mimi if I tapped too late or too soon as an impatient young child might. The company is quite responsive, so I am confident these issues will be resolved. Also, there are links to social media within the app which need to be passcode protected like the settings menu or disabled like the Twitter link.
If the 12,000+ followers on its Facebook page are any indication, GazziliWorld has a loyal following and a growing fanbase. Stay tuned for reviews of GazziliWords, Puzzles and Shapes and coming soon to the app store are GazziliMath and Letters.
Jill Goodman is consulting on GazziliGenetics which will address why she is not a 5'10" blond-haired blue-eyed Barbie doll. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.