What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kids Preschool Puzzle is a challenging -- but not too challenging -- puzzle app for preschool-age kids. Insert the puzzle pieces into the outlines and find out what shape you've created. You can adjust preferences to make it easier to snap pieces into place for younger kids, to choose categories of shapes, to display or vocal the shapes' names, and more.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids won't always be able to determine what shape will materialize at first glance, yet the puzzles are easy enough to solve without too much frustration. Preschoolers are likely to find the puzzles fun to solve.
After kids solve a puzzle, they can reflect on how the pieces form an object they recognize. The option to hear the names of completed objects can help build young kids' vocabulary, but the words are out of context.
When a puzzle is complete, kids hear an encouraging voice say "Great job!" but they don't get meaningful feedback. Parents can set the app to say the word that matches the object, show the word, and choose a category of objects.
What's it about?
Kids move small, colorful puzzle pieces into a grayscale shape, such as an apple or a letter of the alphabet. When complete, the shape turns into the object and kids hear an encouraging voice say "Great job!" Parents can also set the app to say the word that matches the object, show the word on the screen, and choose a category of objects. Puzzles range in difficulty to very easy to more challenging, at least for the preschool set.
Is it any good?
KIDS PRESCHOOL PUZZLE is a fun app for kids to practice with puzzles, but it misses opportunities for learning. Some of the aspects designed to boost learning value aren't executed all that well. For example, after solving a puzzle, kids see the word for the puzzle. But in some cases the word is just wrong: In one puzzle the audio says "gecko" while the word displayed is "lizard." The inclusion of letters and numbers could also be great for learning, but sometimes they are so distorted (into shapes resembling animals with eyes) that kids won't easily be able to transfer what they are learning to the real world. Finally, there are issues with singular/plural -- a puzzle may be an image of something requiring a plural word, but the word and audio is singular.
On the up side, the app has a good balance between ease of play and challenge. It's impressive to see an app for very young children that includes puzzles that aren't all easy to guess in advance, yet that's easy enough to solve without too much frustration. There are several categories with dozens of puzzles, so it will take players quite a few sessions of play before they complete all the puzzles.
Families can talk about...
Ask kids to guess what the object is before they begin solving the puzzle. (Parents can make funny guesses, too.)
Provide kids with preschool-appropriate real-life puzzles.