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Toddlers and preschoolers love to draw, and the App Store has no shortage of solutions for keeping little ones busy doing just that. Squiggles! for iPhone is one of the latest, but goes much further by actually bringing your little one’s work to life, complete with animation and sound.
Based upon developer Lazoo’s “Hands On! Mind On!” curriculum, Squiggles! for iPhone provides a unique way for children to embellish “living” drawing pages with the touch of a finger. When they’re done adding their own touches, a tap of the “Go” button makes the drawing actually spring to life. Kids can doodle a lion’s mane, a curly beard, cotton candy, or even rocket smoke, all of which become animated along with the rest of the drawing. A palette of options include a rainbow of seven different colors, stickers, or even a “mystery color” which changes after each use.
Squiggles! first came about as a free iPad app, but the developer has left little behind in shrinking it down for the iPhone’s smaller screen. While the number of drawing pages have been reduced from 14 to eight, the rest of the experience is largely the same, and the iPhone version does a good job of keeping options tucked away while a user is busy doodling. A separate menu for parents also hides a gallery of images kids save within the app, plus options for music, sound, and languages (English or Japanese only), as well as the ability to print or share images via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
The bottom line. My three-and-a-half year old son had a blast playing with Squiggles! for iPhone – in fact, I had a hard time prying my iPhone 4S back out of his hands! Lazoo has nicely balanced entertainment with a healthy dose of education in a well-made app your kids are sure to enjoy as well.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Slick graphics in a UI that encourages exploration. Menu options immediately slide out of the way as child draws on the screen. Saved images can be printed or shared to social networks and email.
Separate versions for iPhone and iPad, with fewer drawing pages on the smaller screen. No way to bypass tutorial on first launch.