Winky Think Logic Puzzles by Spinlight Studios has come up with another HIT with Winky Think Logic Puzzles! With 180 progressive challenges, it is hard not to get swept up in the wave of this blinkin’ cutie. Their new puzzler not only helps build attention, reasoning and spatial concepts; it also promotes perseverance and higher levels of cognition with the introduction of the use of tools and bimanual play to finish some of the levels. Gameplay centers on moving colored shapes to a designated spot and is based largely on Piaget’s theories of cognition. It starts simply with matching colors, shapes, and moving the shapes about a pathway (sensorimotor and preoperational). Obstacles (learning to adapt responses/ concrete operational) are slowly introduced, and then WHAMO!!! You hit a level with gizmos that open and close access for your shape to move; require two hands to operate and change their properties (use of tools and multi-steps to accomplish a goal/formal operational). Layout and illustrations are elegantly devoid of clutter, so attention stays on the puzzle itself. Music is playful and engaging; however, Spinlight Studios has a button to turn off the music if you should choose it for more sensory sensitive kids. The app is divided into 3 main categories or levels identified by a star system that must be followed in order. Let’s take a look at each, and see some of the challenges that students will face.
In the one star level, kids are introduced to basic properties initially - color, form, and pathways in leading their shape to the designated spot. They then progress to obstacles, use of tools and bimanual play to complete a game level. If you should make an error, you just try a different route. There are no time frames or judgments so motivation and reinforcement through accomplishment remain high. Games within this level are great for older preschool and younger elementary students. It never gets old watching a child put pieces together and discover new ways of thinking.
The second level, with two stars puzzles, incorporate elements of sequencing, timing, and synching your responses in order to plan an action. Tapping memory from past experiences to apply to new situations is ever present, and you can’t help but get drawn in to trying just one more. There is an increased demand for precision, that may be frustrating for younger kids, but is quite fun for 2nd graders on up who the ability to delay gratification in order to experiment in finding a solution to the problem.
The third level really pulls out the stops, and you are mainly planning multi-step actions requiring the use of both hands to achieve the solution. A lot of the games can be worked in pairs, and it would also give teachers the opportunity to view how organized a child is in their ability to problem-solve and reason. Are they working haphazardly?....Do they have a plan?....Are they learning to modify their actions based on past mistakes? Older kids may benefit from modeling or helping the younger ones. And as we know, when it comes to games, there is nothing cooler than having the attention of an older sibling or kid teaching you the ropes.
I would love it if this app had the ability to have additional users so that both clinicians and parents with multiple children could play without starting over. Also, the parental gate for viewing and possibly buying other apps from the app store is pretty easy to access, and I wouldn’t want to leave it in the hands of a child without some sort of supervision – or ideally having someone interact with them while playing the game.
I would highly recommend Winky Think Logic Puzzles. The play is fresh, fun, and engaging. A lot of thought and time went into the making of this app, and it clearly shows in the level of detail from the overall design to the multitude of levels for the puzzlers. And with that, Happy Puzzling!
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.