Sunday, January 22, 2012

An App For That: Zoodles

If your household is anything like mine, you probably have 7 and 8-year-olds adding Ipads to their Christmas lists or 3 and 4-year-olds mimicking a cell-phone conversation with anything that fits in their tiny hands. I can't count the number of times those little hands have gotten to my phone- sending alien texts and pseudo-stalker breathing voicemails to all of my nearest and dearest. Heck, They've even managed to completely change my phone's settings and display!

As a mother of four I've taken the "we just can't have nice stuff" saying on as our family's own personal slogan. We do a lot of sharing, thrifty shopping, and we learn to live with less. It's very unusual that I purchase items for myself, but that does not apply to my phone. As the main (and sometimes only) source of communication to the outside world, most importantly my family back east, I like phones loaded to the 9's so I can call, text, or email all with the power device in my hands, without paying a hefty price.

So you can imagine my worry when those little hands are on my phone. I subscribe to many different magazines on parenting, including my fave, ALL YOU, so I have seen many articles about recommendations of phone applications for the little ones. There were always two things I looked for in a good phone application for my kids: 1. Is it educational? and 2. Is it FREE? My brother, who got his smartphone approximately 6 months before I did, once told me , "Never pay for an app. No matter what you're looking at, there's always a free version. Trust me." It's been the greatest piece of phone advice someone has ever given me and to this day I have never paid for an app for my phone. That being said, my phone is so tricked out with apps and the like I'm hard-pressed to think of something I can't do with my phone.

I searched long and hard for a good free app for kids. I didn't really love the idea of them playing with my phone, but if I knew it was going to happen I wanted to be prepared. Then one day it came along, a FREE Kid's app so good you'll think they paid me to talk about it. {They didn't, but if they're reading this I won't turn it down! :) }

Zoodles is an APP and Website that fits all of my needs and then some. On Zoodles you can add six profiles, so I have one set up for Mr. E, Fingers, Stink, and Bubby. (If you see in the photos one of them set up a profile for me. I had to laugh at that, but I wouldn't mind playing it when I need a break!)

Zoodles has so many fun features it's worth taking a few minutes to go over and check it out for yourself. I like how on both the phone app and on the website you can't easily exit the system and get into unwanted territories, like the phone's settings. There's also the parental controls, which lets you block networks, shows, and/or characters which is great when you don't want the influence of a particular show on your little ones. You can also limit the time they spend on a certain subject or area. Another great feature is the option to view and send video mail to family members too far to visit on a regular basis. The video recording feature also enables you and anyone you chose to record themselves reading a story to your kids.

I took a few screenshots to show you a few of the many great features of Zoodles. Check them out below then go check out Zoodles for yourself!
This is the screenshot of  what the kiddos see. If they press the little "x" they have to also type in "Exit" so it's very hard for the kids to navigate to a different site!

Zoodles lets you and your family record yourself telling a story that your kids can watch over and over. Here I am, reading an expanded version of the Three Little Pigs over a year ago!

The welcome page under the Parental View. This is Stink's profile. Notice her picture of her pout? We love it. :)

Zoodles tell you the themes your child has been learning on the progress report.

Zoodles breaks up how your child spends their time on the site- by shows, subject, and more...


  1. Very interesting! Do you know if it is an ipad app, too? My kids would love that.

    1. Kimberly,

      I didn't want to speak off-hand even though I was quite positive so I went to their website where it states "Zoodles has an app available for your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android. We help them have fun learning while keeping your device safe." I didn't even know they had it on all those devices, wow!

    2. Hi Kim (and Sara),

      We do offer an iPad app, but it unfortunately doesn't have many of the features available on computers / Android devices. Right now it's primarily a customized, educational video player.


  2. Hey Sara! I just stopped by to check for new blog posts, and I see you're working on the redesign. Just wanted to say its looking great so far!


    1. Courtney,

      That's so sweet! Thank you! I am still working on it, and testing different things out...wonder what it will be in the end! :)

      Chat with you later,

  3. Replies
    1. Rachel,

      Thanks for visiting, reading my review, and commenting! Proof to how great Zoodles really is!

  4. As a family who love APPS we are going to check this out for sure!!! Thanks! New follower from Get Connected Tuesday blog hop! Have a great day!

  5. I have three children on my account and decided to upgrade so that they will have all of the premium features but it only upgraded on one child's profile. I have read and read and researched TONS and have found absolutely nothing stating that "each profile" must be upgraded for all to enjoy the paid features. It asks if I want to upgrade "my account", which tells me I pay one monthly fee for the entire account to have premium features. I have not gotten a response from after emailing with my question on this matter. Can anyone tell me if each profile must be paid for to enjoy upgraded features? If so, I will be very disappointed and will be canceling my monthly subscription since I cannot afford to pay for each child.


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