Shape-O ABC's

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Shape-O ABC's App Poster Image
Colorful mix of shape puzzles and letter/word recognition.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn letter and word recognition, as well as the names of animals and other things when completing the puzzles. If aided by an adult, kids also can learn the names of shapes and colors. Kids cannot choose colors selectively, and the congratulations graphic is not related to the puzzle image at all (bees appear when kids complete a tiger puzzle, as does a frog when the hamburger puzzle is completed). All in all, this fun preschool puzzle app, packed with more than 100 puzzles, helps kids learn spatial relations through picture puzzles as well as letters and words through word-building puzzles.

Ease of Play

Three difficulty levels for both puzzles and words can be set independently. On easy levels, outlines show where letters go in a word; on the highest level, kids place letters without assistance.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shape-O ABC's is an educational puzzle game that asks kids to put together a picture and the word that names the picture. Three difficulty levels make the app appropriate for kids age 2 to 6. Kids can change puzzle colors, although not selectively; all colors on a puzzle change together.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written byClCu March 31, 2011
Beautiful puzzles - my three year old loves it!

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What's it about?

Kids press Play from SHAPE-O ABC'S main screen, then tap to scroll through pages with dozens of puzzle options. They tap a puzzle and drag shapes and letters into matching shaded portions of the puzzle's picture box. Kids can change puzzle colors by tapping the rainbow option or tap the eye icon for a clue to filling in the shapes. When the puzzle is complete, they hear a rewarding sound, listen to a narrator spell and say the word, and see a cute animated picture.

Is it any good?

Shape-O ABC's would be a lovely puzzle app for kids even if all it offered was puzzles. Each image, constructed from geometric shapes, has the attractiveness of those high-quality European wooden playthings from specialty toy stores. They're a pleasure to look at. Plus, kids can choose from many color palettes for each puzzle, adding a bit of creative personalization. Many of the pieces are similar shapes and sizes, but they're tilted or turned in different orientations, which means kids have to make visual distinctions to put the puzzle together. Then, of course, there's the word-building aspect, which adds a nice extra educational layer to the exercise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Discuss the names of the shapes and colors with your children as they place them in the puzzles.

  • Search for and view images of the real-life animals or objects seen in the puzzles and see if you and your child can see the similarities in shapes.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, spelling, vocabulary
    Math: shapes
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships
  • Price: $1.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: January 24, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 88.60 MB
  • Publisher: Bellamon
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

For kids who love puzzles, prereading

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