Shapes - 3D Geometry Learning

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Shapes - 3D Geometry Learning App Poster Image
Zoom, rotate, and fold solid figures with elegant math tool.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the characteristics of 27 solid figures, including the numbers of sides, edges, and vertices. By rotating each shape and making it transparent, they can gain an understanding of the shape's three-dimensional nature. Kids also can unfold the shapes to reveal their nets and study the two-dimensional figures that make up the three-dimensional figures. For example, when a quadrilateral pyramid is unfolded, the net reveals that this solid figure is made of a square and four triangles. Kids can further investigate by making their own nets. The cylinder and cone do not have nets, so adding these would be helpful. Also, the app misses an opportunity to assess learning or set objectives, so the addition of challenges or mini games could extend the learning experience. Overall, Shapes - 3D Geometry Learning is simple on the surface but can be unfolded to reveal lots of learning opportunities.

Ease of Play

Touchscreen features are mostly easy to use and control. Navigation is intuitive.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shapes – 3D Geometry Learning is a reference tool that kids can use to explore over 20 solid figures. Interactive features include the ability to zoom in and out on a figure, to unfold and fold it to study its net (a cut-and-fold pattern), to fill in its sides with color, to rotate it, and to highlight its features. Kids can print the nets, which allows them to practice folding each net to form the three-dimensional figure. The app is available in 13 languages.

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What's it about?

The main screen is organized into four categories of solid figures: Prisms, Pyramids, Platonic Solids, and Solids of Revolution. Within each category, kids can select from several shapes. Once the shape is selected, kids can explore using a number of features including zoom, unfold and fold, and rotate. Kids also can tap to learn how many faces, edges, and vertices the shape has, and they can highlight and color-fill these characteristics. When kids select the Net feature, they can build their own net and fold it to test it out.

Is it any good?

SHAPES – 3D GEOMETRY LEARNING provides kids with an engaging and interactive way to explore solid figures. Though there are few instructions, It's easy to navigate, and the touch features are easily controlled. Kids can freely explore without having to unlock levels, which works well with the concepts. One of the best features is the ability to print nets so kids can manually fold them to create three-dimensional figures. An opportunity to assess learning could improve the app's learning value, but it works well as an exploration and experimentation app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about solid figures found in everyday objects. Have kids name the shapes and then use the app to deconstruct and study them.

  • Have kids draw nets using paper and pencil, listing the two-dimensional shapes that make up the three-dimensional figure.

App details

For kids who love shapes and math

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