Ed Emberley's Shake & Make

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Ed Emberley's Shake & Make App Poster Image

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Puzzle-game-and-art-lesson-in-one appeals to all ages.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how simple shapes and lines come together to create art with Ed Emberley's Shake & Make. They'll see a circle, two triangles, a curved line, and two dots come together to make a pig's face. And they'll see other simple drawings created from more shapes and lines in the more than 100 puzzles available, all from drawings by Ed Emberley, the children's book author and illustrator. Kids can get lots of drawing ideas and inspiration and have some fun breaking the art and then putting it back together again.

Ease of Play

The puzzles can be surprisingly challenging, especially since so many of the pieces look so similar to one another. But there are features (like removing the timer, or asking for hints) that make the game easier for younger kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ed Emberley's Shake & Make is a surprisingly challenging picture puzzle game based on the artwork of famed illustrator and art teacher, Ed Emberley. You start with one of Emberley's drawings, shake your device to scatter the pieces, and then put it back together. The tough part comes from so many of the pieces looking so much alike -- many are just straight black lines. Younger kids can choose to play without a timer, and hints are available with a simple tap. In addition to just being puzzles, though, each image -- composed of simple shapes and lines -- is meant to be easy for kids to recreate in their own artwork.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5 and 7-year-old Written bykellymorrison June 11, 2013

Good, solid, well-designed puzzle app

My 5 and 7 year olds like this puzzle app. They love shaking the puzzle apart, and it's actually pretty challenging, especially with the timer option. It m... Continue reading

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What's it about?

Kids shake the device to break apart pictures, many of which may be familiar to kids from Ed Emberley’s books like Go Away Big, Green Monster and Drummer Hoff. They'll then drag the shapes and lines back into place to recreate the picture. Kids have 60 seconds to solve each puzzle, but the timer can be turned off. Kids can get a hint, which shows the completed picture, but will lose five seconds off the clock for taking a hint. Solving easier puzzles unlocks more challenging puzzles.

Is it any good?

ED EMBERLEY'S SHAKE & MAKE is fun, first of all, in that it lets you play with the famed illustrator's unique and whimsical artwork. And while it may look like a game for very young kids, it's got a pleasantly surprising amount of challenge for older kids and adults. The pieces continue to float around the screen as you try to piece them together, which in itself adds quite a bit of difficulty. But there are enough aids to help younger kids make it through and have a lot of fun with the puzzles. In addition, separating and reconstructing the clean, simple shapes and lines of Emberley's illustrations is a de facto method for teaching you how to draw them yourself. If you see that a bird, for instance, is made up of an oval body, a circle head, a triangle beak, and a few lines for legs -- you can recreate that bird drawing yourself with paper and pencil. It's pretty ingenious.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Point out how the shapes come together to form pictures.

  • Provide paper and drawing tools so kids can copy some of Ed Emberley's creations and make some of their own.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love creating with apps

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