Archive | Shapes RSS feed for this section

Shape the Village by Wisekids

5 Feb

Shape the Village by WiseKids CorporationShape the Village is a delightful world created by WiseKids where children can explore shapes in amusing and entertaining ways.  The village is a little “unpopulated” when you first enter the app, but as each activity is completed more items are added until the village is complete. The completed village with 16 activities fills two screens of your iPad, and children can swipe up or down to move between these areas. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Features

Activities – There are 16 activities, each with several different variations so that your child can return to the same activity multiple times with difference in shapes and/or characters each time. I don’t have the time (or patience) to mention all the activities, but here are just a few:

  • Rocket ship – the rocket’s window (a different shape each time) is dirty. Clean it to find an astronaut made of the same shape.
  • Caterpillar – tap and hold dots on a leaf to guide a caterpillar as he eats a shape path through a leaf.
  • Bakery – colour in each shape with a different spread, e.g. spread jam on the square toast, frosting on the triangle cake, or chocolate icing on the biscuits (or cookie for my friends in the USA and Canada.)
  • Orchard – pick the fruit on the trees and load it on to the truck.  There are outlines indicating the shape of the fruit required, for example a row of squares for the square apples.  A couple of red herrings (in the form of a square bird and a piece of fruit with a bite) out of it will bounce off the truck if you try to load them.
  • Farm – drag the tractor along the shaped path to till the soil, plant the seeds and then water. Once the shape has been traced three times, flowers grow.

You can see some of these activities, plus the introduction to the app, in this YouTube trailer from WiseKids.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Baby Learns Simple Shapes

21 Mar

baby learns shapes app iconThe 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.

Activities

Find the Shape

iPadShapesChooseGame

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.

Other Features

Rewards

iPadTreesLiftBaby 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

iPadVoiceoversEnglishThe 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.

Parent Section

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.

Verdict

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.

Giveaway

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.

Baby Learns Colors - Bebebe Co.Publisher:  Bebebe Co.
Universal
Price:  $2.99

Guest Blog – King of Math reviewed by Josh

5 Jun

Today I welcome a review from my very first guest blogger.  Josh is an 18 y.0. student from Melbourne who is studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mathematics).  His own blog, Mathematical Mischief (http://mathematicalmischief.wordpress.com/) is aimed at helping everyone to get a better understanding of Mathematics and is a great resource for students.  Do go and visit his blog.

And now, over to you, Josh.

King of Math

Well, erm… Hi. I’m Josh. 🙂

Now, if you’re wondering where I’m from, what I do – let’s just say you can find it all at Mathematical Mischief. Today, though, I’m not here to spiel about my blog, or what I do.

I’m here to talk about a game called ‘King of Math‘, made by the awesome dudes over at Oddrobo Games (they’re Swedish).
The first three level packs are available in game when you download the app (which is free), but to play the remaining levels, you need to buy the in game pack (which is $0.99, well worth the investment).

Click the logo to go to iTunes!

So you’re bored, slightly competitive, and really like math. You’re not quite sure what you could do, though. Here’s your answer, if you’re up for the challenge. Continue reading

Using Painting and Drawing Apps for more than pictures.

28 Mar

In a recent post I highlighted just a few of the many  Painting and Drawing Apps available on the App Store and presented my readers with some criteria for evaluating them.  This post looks at some of the ways these apps can be used across curriculum areas.

Mathematics

You may remember I noted that stamps/stickers can make an App more versatile, and that certainly is the case when it comes to Mathematics.  In a classroom, students commonly used counters, paddle pop sticks, blocks and other manipulatives to experiment with number.  Think of stamps as onscreen or virtual manipulatives.   If you don’t have stamps, you can use different colour and painting tools to create marks or shapes. Continue reading

Mouse in a House

30 Jan

Here is a nice little App for young children learning their shapes.  Mouse in a House is like an I-Spy activity where children explore the  different rooms in the house and find hidden shapes. Each room hides a number of the same shape, for example in the living room children will need to find circles whereas in the bedroom they hunt for triangles.

There are also a few fun interactive elements, such as appliances that turn on or frogs that hop.  There are written instructions that are spoken once only, and there is a rhyming story that can be read as the child progresses through the App, but this is not spoken aloud.  Instead parents or other older readers will need to read is aloud for non-readers. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: