Shapes & Puzzles by Pirate Trio

Common Sense Media says

Fun app offers just enough challenge for young learners.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is very easy to use. Voice instructions are clear and simple, but aren't provided for every game. Sometimes, such as in the picture building game, kids need to figure out by sight what to do (which is not difficult), and are told at the end what they built ("You made a beetle"), just in case they don't recognize it. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A "More Games" option on the main screen links players to the Pirate Trio Academy website, and there are options in the settings to subscribe for product updates or visit the developer's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Shapes and Puzzles by Pirate Trio provides kids with block-style puzzles (200 for iPad version and slightly less for the iPhone version) to help kids learn to identify shapes and how shapes fit into all sorts of things in the world. Kids choose from images made up of many shape blocks in a variety of categories, including animals, transportation, buildings, and people. Once an image is chosen, a hollowed-out version of it appears with a few adjacent blocks lining the side of the screen. As kids choose correctly, more blocks appear to choose from, or kids can scroll down if they want to see more right away. There's also one more basic game that just shows shapes and provides voice direction to help younger kids learn individual shapes by matching shapes with color cues ("Match the yellow triangle") that only correspond with one shape choice.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Just enough challenge without too many choices to overwhelm young app users. With about 200 puzzles, kids will be busy playing with shapes here for quite some time. 

Learning Approach

Kids learn and practice recognizing shapes, colors, and sizes here with block-style puzzles. As kids complete puzzles correctly, more blocks appear. There's an adapted level for toddlers, too.

Support

Voice instructions are clear and simple but aren't provided for every game. Sometimes kids need to figure out by sight what to do and are told at the end what they've built, in case they don't recognize it.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn and practice shape, color, and size recognition with the block-style puzzles in Shapes & Puzzles by Pirate Trio. With its 150 words and useful expressions, the app may also be helpful for kids who are learning English as a second language. It could present a challenge to young kids -- but not so much that it overwhelms them. This is a colorful, fun way to learn about shapes and spot them in everyday objects.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids choose from images made up of many shape blocks in a variety of categories, including animals, transportation, buildings, and people. Once kids choose an image, a hollowed-out version of it appears with a few adjacent blocks lining the side of the screen. As kids choose correctly, more blocks appear, or kids can scroll down if they want to see more right away. The app has 200 puzzles in the iPad version and slightly fewer for the iPhone version; it also includes a toddler module for kids as young as 3.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SHAPES & PUZZLES BY PIRATE TRIO is colorful, fun, and just enough of a challenge without too many choices to overwhelm young app users. If kids have played other apps by this developer, they'll recognize the cute pirates encouraging them on in their learning adventures. It may be frustrating for the youngest players here to see that a block shape matches the necessary spot on the puzzle only to find that it doesn't "fit" because that particular one isn't turned in the correct direction. In that instance, players have to go back to find the same shape that's positioned at a different angle to fit. But it's also a good opportunity to learn spatial relations and viewing shapes in a different way. Overall, this app is in the top tier of the many good shape-teaching apps for preschoolers.

Families can talk about...

  • Point out all the shapes that you and your kid use and see in everyday life.

  • Use multicolored wooden blocks of various shapes and sizes, or similar manipulatives, and challenge your kid to find and compare them to the shapes when playing the app together -- or to find the shapes in the environment.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Release date:November 8, 2011
Category:Education
Size:19.70 MB
Publisher:Next is Great
Version:1.0.3
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1.2 or later

This review of Shapes & Puzzles by Pirate Trio was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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