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Busy Shapes
SCREENSHOTS

Busy Shapes

3/11/2014

2.99

This digital playground filled with geometric shapes and corresponding holes invites exploration by the toddler and preschooler set. It cleverly sets forth logical thinking challenges that get progressively harder.
The Bottom Line
This remarkable digital playground, full of age-appropriate logic challenges, should be downloaded on all toddlers' and preschoolers' devices.

The Set-up

This simple slide-to-the-hole activity gets progressively harder as your child succeeds. The app tracks how long it takes for your child to complete a puzzle and adjusts the content accordingly. The puzzles move from presenting one shape to two shapes, and adding a second hole. The hole will vary in color, size, and shape. Next a perplexing situation is introduced in the form of a sticky puddle, so that children must learn to navigate around the sticky goo. The 38 puzzles continue to add new complexities by introducing hidden blocks, moving blocks, barriers, movable fences, and tools. The blocks and backgrounds also vary in the material used, so kids will be sliding metal on metal, buttons on burlap, and sponges on sand.

Puzzles Adapt to Your Child's Play

This simple slide-to-the-hole activity gets progressively harder as your child succeeds. The app tracks how long it takes for your child to complete a puzzle and adjusts the content accordingly. The puzzles move from presenting one shape to two shapes, and adding a second hole. The hole will vary in color, size, and shape. Next a perplexing situation is introduced in the form of a sticky puddle, so that children must learn to navigate around the sticky goo. The 38 puzzles continue to add new complexities by introducing hidden blocks, moving blocks, barriers, movable fences, and tools. The blocks and backgrounds also vary in the material used, so kids will be sliding metal on metal, buttons on burlap, and sponges on sand.

Why This App Is Good

Busy Shapes offers a clean and simple interface in which to play. By offering no instructions, the app puts your child in charge of figuring out the rules of this playground. And to do so, players must experiment and learn from trying. Only when they sort the blocks correctly do they hear the reward chime; and the scene changes. By presenting carefully constructed puzzles that slowly get harder if and only if the player succeeds, your kid is able to learn the logic of solving progressively more difficult challenges. It is simple but masterful in its method of teaching reasoning skills.

This app intuitively recognizes that young children will put more than one finger on the screen. Busy Shapes is able to identify when a child's finger touches the block even after other fingers are already on the surface of the device. It also supports multi-touch in a kid's ability to use two fingers at the same time to move two blocks. When your child exits, the app remembers where he or she was, and it starts at that point when the app is next accessed.

Offers Feedback for Parents and Teachers

Busy Shapes offers parents real-time feedback of how their child is doing, nicely hidden under a parental gate. The app also suggests that adults turn on "Guided Access," a little-known feature in iOS, which disables the "Home" button and keeps kids within the app until such time as the adult decides to let them out. By creating an adult account, families or teachers can create multiple profiles (up to 40). For teachers interested in the pedagogy of Busy Shapes, its progression is inspired by the work of intelligence expert Jean Piaget.

Best For

Busy Shapes is great for all toddlers and preschoolers. This brilliant app starts children down the path of being logical thinkers.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Busy Shapes
Released: 3/6/2014
Company: Edoki Academy
Price: 2.99
Platforms: iPad
iPhone
iPod Touch
Available: Apple App Store

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