Build a tower, test, and improve to help a hungry monkey.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
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What’s It About?
Use simple shapes to build TAMI'S TOWER so that it's tall and stable enough for Tami to reach a piece of fruit. In each level, kids have a specific number of different shapes that they must use to build their tower. Once kids are happy with their tower, they rate how stable they think it is before an alligator or panda runs by to shake the ground and test it. If it withstands the test -- and is high enough to help Tami reach the fruit -- kids move to the next level. If not, kids try again. Kids can play the leveled challenges, or free play in the sandbox.
Is It Any Good?
Principles of engineering are easily accessible for preschoolers with this delightful little tower-building game. There are lots of little details that make Tami's Tower stand out. Precise, easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions help kids know what they need to do. Cute animals and the storyline help to engage kids. A variety of hints -- like a grayed outline of a failed tower that guides kids in making a different construction -- provide good scaffolding. And the option to play in the leveled progression or in a sandbox lets kids experience the benefits of a challenge and of open-ended free experimentation. Kids may find it a bit unnatural to rotate shapes before placing them in the playing zone, but they should be able to get used to it. Also, it can be frustrating that progress is deleted when kids tap New Game. It would be nice to be able to save progress or at least have a warning that progress will be deleted. The function where kids rate their confidence about the stability of their tower could also use some additional context. Though it's a great idea to have kids think about their process and confidence level to practice metacognition, as is, it's not clear what this rating is for or how it's helpful for enhancing kids' learning. Overall, however, Tami's Tower is an excellent engineering experience that encourages a learning process.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the planning process for building Tami's Tower. What shapes would work best on the bottom and why? How can some shapes be placed together to form other shapes?
When a tower fails, ask kids why it fell. What can they do differently next time?
Give kids real blocks of a variety of shapes to experiment with building towers. Is building with real blocks different from building in the app? How?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Math: shapes, Science: engineering
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, problem solving, spatial reasoning, thinking critically
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: February 8, 2019
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Topics: STEM, Wild Animals
- Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
- Version: 1.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: March 17, 2020
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