Last Friday I was babysitting two children (ages 3 and 6), and I wanted to find a fun and comprehensive app that taught basic 2D shapes. After a 5-minute search through the App Store, I came across this awesome free app called “Friendly Shapes” created by the company Tabtale. Many of Tabtale’s apps focus on creating interactive storybooks and games for the iPad, and Friendly Shapes is a great example!
- Two different story modes
- Five interactive games to reinforce learning shapes
- No technical issues with app crashing or bugs
- Easy app for young child to use
Needs to be improved
- Pop-up ads and banner ads on bottom of the screen
In Friendly Shapes, the characters are different 2D shapes who are working together to find one of their missing shape friends. Circle, the main character, is searching for his friend Star and meets other shapes along the way. As he meets his other friends, they build different modes of transportation including a truck, a train and even a robot.
A positive aspect about the app is that it has two different story modes to allow for more reading flexibility. One mode is called “Read it Myself” where the child can read the story aloud and then, through the iPad’s microphone, the app assesses how well the child reads the story. Since I was using the app to teach a 3-yr old and 6-yr old, I actually had the 6-yr old read the story aloud. He really liked the story and the animated pictures helped keep both him and his brother engaged.
The second mode is “Auto Play” where the entire story is read to the child so that the child can hear the story on his or her own without the presence of an adult.
Friendly Shapes also does a great job of using games to reinforce the shapes that the child learns in the story. After the child finishes reading the story, he or she is presented with the option of playing games such as jigsaw puzzles, memory cards, and counting. When I tried the jigsaw puzzle, I was pleased that there were no bugs or other technical issues in the app. The games in the app are very responsive, and it rewards the student with music whenever he or she completes a game.
One downside about the app is that there are advertisements at the bottom of the screen (as you can see in the screenshots) and the occasional pop-up ad, but advertisements are usually inevitable with free apps. Overall though, if you’re looking for a great interactive storybook app that teaches 2D shapes to your preschooler or kindergartener, try out Friendly Shapes by Tabtale!
Disclosure: All views and opinions with regard to the products or the company are my own and were not influenced by the company.