Shapes and Puzzles
by Next is Great
If you have students and/or children ages 3-6, then Shapes and Puzzles by Pirate Trio is one that you will want to add as your next classroom activity center(s). What will this 21st century building center look like? With the support of your mobile device, children will explore and manipulate over 200 imaginative puzzles. Shapes and Puzzles is wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and encompasses many age appropriate skills. This educational app will improve one’s ability to recognize shapes and their sizes as they develop their perceptual skills as well. The puzzles and shapes that your little one will encounter while playing are objects that they see everyday within their lives. As they become architects, this educational app will also help them to develop their vocabulary in a wide range of areas: buildings, vehicles, people, animals, plants, tools and so much more. With an origami or tangram similarity, children will be in love with their virtual wooden blocks.
Upon entering Shapes and Puzzles, users will see that they can explore and build within three levels of play. Each of these levels contains 10-13 pages worth of colorful and reusable puzzles. Like a real world puzzle, it can be completed again and again. Although there are three levels of play, they can be completed in any order. As Applicable2U experimented, we did notice that there were disguising differences, although small, between each level. The “boat” level’s shapes are basic in color, with no design. The “canon” level begins with one piece and is built upon with every correct drop. This level requires our architects to make predictions and to use their perceptual skills. The “fish” level is very much like the “boat” level, however, our virtual blocks are now more detailed.
Simply find and click the image of your dreams ad let the building begin. As your little one plays and builds, they will be encouraged as they develop mathematical skills while having fun! That image will enlarge center stage and those necessary pieces will appear in color on the right hand side. Your approach can be one of dragging and dropping each piece to its appropriate place as you manipulate shapes in order or you can scroll through the pieces and build as you please. There is no right or wrong answer. Shapes will already have been rotated and just need to be locked into place with your magic touch. If it does not lock into place, then it will be a visual indicator that there is a more appropriate place for that particular piece. After your object has been built, a pirate friend will verbally reward you and name that object. A note to the developers – might it be possible to have the verbal announcement along with a written description of that word. It would be wonderful if users could hear the word and also see the word above or below the object.
If you aren’t amazed yet, just wait, the learning has not stopped yet! There is a bonus training level where users will reinforce colors and shapes. The only suggestion that we might give for the training mode would be to lock children out from answering until the narrator has given all of the directions. This will encourage children to comprehend both the color and its shape. It will also avoid those quick clickers that we all know and love. Overall, Applicable2U would give Shapes and Puzzles two thumbs up! We are impressed with the skills that it has to offer my son and those educators that I come in contact within the early primary years. When exploring this application, your child will be gaming for a reason, Applicable2U’s primary goal. If you would like to learn more about the other educational apps that Next is Great has to offer, please visit their website here. If you have an architect on your hands and they happen to be ages 3-6, then begin downloading Shapes and Puzzles by Pirate Trio here to your iTunes library today!