The latest offering from Bebebe Co. is a fun app for learning shapes, and I’d like to thank Tanya Kolosova from Baby Learns for allowing me to be part of the Beta Testing process. Like the other apps in the series (Baby Learns Colors and Baby Learns Simple Objects and ) there are three different activities, both with two modes: Play and Learn. Each activity also has a child character, or avatar, that guides the child through the activity. A reward system for correct answers is motivating and fun.
Find the Shape
Ten shape characters are on the screen: square, circle, triangle, rectangle, moon, star, oval, rhombus, pentagon, trapezoid. As you tap each shape, the avatar says its name. Shapes animate at random: they might dance, grow flowers, clean up, play or do other surprising things. In Play Mode, the avatar says the name of each shape as the shape is tapped. In Learn mode, the avatar asks the user to find a specific shape. Correct answers receive praise, while the avatar prompts the child to try again after an incorrect answer. Sometimes my children were distracted by the animations and went to tap the animating shape rather than the correct shape. I’d like to see animations used as a prompt. My 5 y.o. Was not familiar with some of the shape names, such as trapezoid and rhombus, but he quickly picked them up. My youngest child is not yet two, but when he is a bit older I’ll be trying the activities with him and I’d love to be able to reduce the number of shapes on the screen so that we can just start with two or three and build up to the full ten.
Load the Shapes
In this second activity, children drag the shapes into the back of a truck. My children loved dragging the shapes with their legs and arms kicking (happily) and dropping them into the truck. In Learn mode, users can load the shapes at random and hear their names spoken. In Play mode, users are asked to load a specific shape. Incorrect answers are identified, and correct answers receive praise. Again, I’d like to be able to adjust the number of shapes, at least in Play mode, so that it would be suitable for a variety of needs.
Make a Picture
This is the favourite activity in my house. Shapes are matched to the shapes outlined on a picture. Once the picture is complete, the scene animates. In Learn mode, simply drag the shapes to their place and hear their name spoken. Incorrect shapes will just snap back to place. The Play mode is same, except that correct answers are counted towards rewards. The only thing I’d like to see here is more pictures, as my children just love it. They have put in requests for space ships and tractors.
Baby Learns Shapes uses the same reward system as the other Baby Learns apps, and it never gets tired. Bebekas are the cute characters that your child can earn for every 5 correct answers in Play mode. Bebekas are added to an interactive environment where your child can play with them. Scroll left and right to see the full environment, which fills several screens. You can move the creatures around the scene, interact with objects in the environment (you must try the trampoline) and feed them from a selection of foods. We found some extra surprises in some of the buildings, but I’m not giving any spoilers, so you’ll have to look for yourself.
Avatars and Voices
The avatars are little boys and girls with assigned voices. The app comes with Morgan (Female, US English), Jules (male, French) and Ivan (male, Russian). You can download others (several other languages are already available) or you can record your own voice. Recording is very easy to do, and I’d encourage you to try this with your children so they can hear their own voices. When you record a voice, you are also able to choose a different avatar. There are three boys and three girls to choose from, each with different racial characteristics. Baby Learns encourages people to submit their voice overs so that others can download them.
The Parent Section is accessed by double-tapping a subtle link at the top of the main screen. Children will be unlikely to get access to it by random tapping. It has links to a YouTube video of how to record voiceovers, more information on playing the game, information about other Baby Learns apps and competitions and links to the AppStore and social media.
While there are a couple of features I’d love to add, I think this is a great app for helping children learn and recall the names of common shapes. I’d recommend that children just starting to learn the shapes spend some in the Learn modes before they tackle the Play modes. Different language options make it suitable for children of any nationality, and useful for those learning a second language. The Bebekas are motivating and fun rewards, which guarantee children will not tire of the game. My five y.o. loves it, and I’m looking forward to introducing this to my youngest child when he is a little older.
If you would like to win a copy of this great app, please leave a comment below. The first three comments will receive a code for the app, courtesy of Bebebe Co.