Baby Games My First Shapes
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the youngest app aficionados will be able to grasp Baby Games My First Shapes, and kids just learning their shapes will get the most out of it. There's no scoring, and it will keep on going until parents shut it off or kids wander off to do something else. Parents can pretty easily add their own sounds and pictures to existing objects or new ones -- bilingual families will probably get the most out of this feature. Adding sound is very easy, but pictures are hard to crop. Parents can even change the error and success sounds kids hear as they play in case "awesome!" or the other choices get too grating after a while.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
So simple, even very young children will master it quickly. Parents can make it more interesting by customizing images or changing the language.
Repetition and deduction are great methods for toddlers, especially if parents initially limit the number and kinds of objects to be identified. Later, kids can make choices to mix shapes and colors. Praise could be more constructive.
So simple, players hardly need instructions. Adding sound is very easy, but pictures are hard to crop.
What's it about?
Kids simply hit "Play!" on the title page and they're off. A voice says "touch the chair," and kids get from one to 10 objects to choose from (customizable by parents ahead of time). If they touch the chair, the voice offers praise and they move on. If they don't, a funny noise sounds until they touch the right object. To repeat the object named, hit the green square in the corner. The name of the object also appears on top of the page. Parents can customize in four categories of objects and can also upload their own photos.
Is it any good?
BABY GAMES MY FIRST SHAPES probably has more bells and whistles than it needs, unless you're a parent who really wants to dig in and add a couple languages or interesting images. Even so, it's good that the app allows parents to customize to a child's level, whether it's sticking to simple shapes to start or moving from two to 10 choices per page. There's no scoring and, oddly, no end to the game until parents shut it off or kids wander away to play with something else. The time limit to answer is also infinite, so there's nothing nagging kids to come back to the game when they've been quizzed enough for the day.
Families can talk about...
Point out the objects and animals from the app when you're out and about, or pick up books about animals and shapes from the library.
Use cookie cutters with play dough to duplicate all the objects you can to reinforce learning through tactile play.