Busy Shapes by Seven Academy might be better named Busy Fingers. This new Top Pick is a great app for toddlers working on fine motor skills and puzzle solving. Its simple game play is perfect for young fingers learning to manipulate shapes. With high quality graphics and fun sounds, it’s an app that children can go back to without getting bored.
Fine motor tasks are an essential skill for young children to practice. iPads have given kids a great avenue for practicing that skill. The trick is finding an app that does a good job of providing children with practice that doesn’t get repetitious or boring. Busy Shapes by Seven Academy is that app. Busy Shapes focuses on allowing children to freely manipulate objects to solve shape puzzles.
Have a Look:
The app is simple. Children are presented with a shape on a screen and a matching hole somewhere else. They simply have to drag the shape to the hole and let go. The shape drops through and falls onto the next screen. As children progress through the app, it automatically adjusts to the student’s level. Children move through various levels: matching shapes and holes, navigating a sticky puddle, hidden shapes, moving barriers, discovering tools, and moving objects. Higher levels ask children to match not just shapes, but sizes and colors as well. The highest levels require children to move barriers, catch moving objects, and even use a tool to push the shapes out from behind objects.
Adults can sign up for a free account at Seven Academy. This allows them to create up to 40 profiles for students to play. Each profile monitors student progress. Adults can see what skills have been mastered and the progress of a child from any Apple device (perfect for classrooms with multiple iPads).
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This app - Busy Shapes - is great for children learning to manipulate objects or for students needing fine motor practice. The simple idea of dragging and dropping the shape is intuitive and children know what to do without any directions. The graphics are sharp, and I love that the sound effects go along with the screen. Small details, like the shadow of the shape falling through the hole before the object lands, make this a really great detail that bumps this app up a level.
The auto-adjustment for ability level allows the app to remain challenging for those who need it, but not frustrating for those who aren’t quite to the using a tool level. I really liked the thought that went into the upper levels of the app as well. Asking children to use a tool to push a shape out from underneath a stationary object takes not just a level of fine motor skill, but the mental connection of using a tool as well. The added bonus of 40 profiles is great for teachers or occupational therapists who might be able to use this for children in an educational setting.
Overall, Busy Shapes is a TOP PICK for parents and teachers looking for an app to practice puzzle solving and fine motor skills. The graphics, sound effects, and self-adjusting puzzles are always different. The app has a very high replay level and will keep kids engaged.
Busy Shapes is availabe for download via the iTunes App Store- iOS Universal
Launch Price - $1.99/£1.49/€1.79 - RRP- $2.99/£1.99/€2.69
At the time of this review there were no ads, in-app purchases, and email links were found behind a parent gate.
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She admits to becoming slightly addicted to this app and “testing” it for much longer than she needed to. She is a self-proclaimed tech nerd and is passionate about technology in education. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.