Lazoo: Squiggles!

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
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Simple strokes come to life in clever drawing app.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to express themselves creatively through drawings. They'll develop fine motor skills drawing the squiggles, and they'll expand their imaginations as they discover all the things simple squiggles can become: smoke, birds' nests, beards, sheep's wool, snail shells, and more. Kids will develop self-awareness as they notice the influence their contributions have on the picture: They make it move. Kids have open creativity options, too, with the blank page. Lazoo: Squiggles! lets kids create and have fun in an imaginative way.

Ease of Play

A simple "how to play" tutorial shows kids what to do each time they open the app, and instructions are repeated verbally on each page. Squiggle guidelines get kids started, but if lines aren't drawn close to the right areas, the animations won't work.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A logo ad appears on the bottom of the start screen but access is protected by a kid-lock code. Unlike many free apps, this one doesn't have any in-app purchases. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lazoo: Squiggles! is a simple drawing app for kids five and under. Kids add squiggles to cartoon pages, and then hit "go" to see their creations come to life. Kids are guided step by step through the process. They do have to draw the squiggles near the expected places on the drawing to activate the full animation, but squiggle guidelines get them started. They can save their creations to the device's camera roll.

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What's it about?

Kids add squiggles to complete pictures and then press "go" to animate their creations. Birds in a tree tweet to life after kids draw them squiggly nests. Fish in the ocean swim around after kids draw squiggly waves. Kids have more than a dozen starting options to add squiggles and bring to life, or they can take a picture with the device's camera or start from a blank page. They can add stickers to the scene, change the colors of their squiggles, and add other artistic touches with a paintbrush, pattern roller, chalk, and squirt bottle.

Is it any good?

Watching their drawings come to life is a preschooler's fantasy come true. With LAZOO: SQUIGGLES! kids will see how many different things simple squiggles can become: a lion's mane, car exhaust, smoke on rockets, spaghetti on a plate, and more. The scenarios are delightful and include drawing a beard on a man's face and frosting a birthday cake. Kids can expand their creativity by starting with a blank page or adding stickers and other designs to the pages. It's designed with the youngest app users in mind, and they can start squiggling without having to select anything. Colors will change as they move across the page. Kids who want a bit more control, though, can choose specific colors from the options bar at the bottom of the screen. There's a one-step undo so kids can fix mistakes, but there's no way to select a specific item to delete if it wasn't the most recently added.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask kids to tell the story of their creations. Each drawing -- from fish in the ocean to rockets in space -- is a great storytelling setup.

  • Kids can save their still (non-animated) images to the device's camera roll and then share them from the device.

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