Ed Emberley's Shake & Make




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

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn



  • shapes


  • drawing


Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support


Kids can have fun playing with the famed illustrator's whimsical artwork in this ingenious app. While the game offers a surprising amount of challenge, younger kids can still have fun.

Learning Approach

Kids will learn how to use simple shapes and lines come together to create art, and possibly to draw the images themselves. Kids are challenged with increasingly complex puzzles.


Brief instructions explain how to play, and kids can reset the puzzle and pause the timer if they need a redo. Hints are available, showing the completed picture.

What kids can learn



  • shapes


  • drawing


Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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.

Families can talk 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:April 30, 2011
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:58.90 MB
Publisher:Night & Day Studios, Inc.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.1 or later

This review of Ed Emberley's Shake & Make was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and 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 makes good use of a lot of the neatest features of iOS, like the accelerometer.
Kid, 8 years old January 7, 2012


i think it sounds super fun so take my word for it and do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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