Shape Arts: Geometry Creations is the second educational app from British app developer Lighthouse Learning. In their first app Dragon Shapes Geometry Challenge students learned how to solve Tangram puzzles, and explored geometry by learning how geometric shapes could be used to create other shapes. In this app the theme is continued with lots of new Tangram Puzzles to solve, and the opportunity to create their own. The app is child-friendly with no adverts or in-app purchases and all external links are in a parents area, accessed by pressing and holding for four seconds.
The Tangram puzzles are sorted into 6 different categories:
The simplest Tangrams, this is a great place to start before moving on to the more complex puzzles.
This is where you can access the Tangram Puzzles you have created yourself.
Tangrams that look like different animals.
Tangrams that look like people in different poses.
When people create new puzzles within the app the developers pick their favorites and add them to the app, so everyone can access them. This section highlights the most recently added puzzles.
This section highlights the most popular puzzles in the app and can be a good place for experienced Tangram solvers to pick a new challenge.
Solving the Tangrams
Once you have picked a puzzle to work on, tapping it takes you into puzzle-solving mode. Here you will see a grey outline of the image(s) you are trying to create, plus a number of colored geometric shapes. The shapes available exactly match what you need to solve the puzzle. To place a piece tap and drag it, a circular arrow will appear over the piece which allows you to easily rotate it to the desired angle. If you get stuck at any point tap on the lightbulb and it will show the correct position of one piece. Tapping it more times shows more pieces, so you can have as many clues as you need. After you have correctly solved the puzzle you can choose to move on to the next puzzle or create your own Tangram using the pieces from the puzzle you just solved.
You can create new Tangrams two ways – from the “My Puzzlets” section or after completing one of the pre-made puzzles. If you make it after solving a puzzle you get the same pieces to work with that the solved puzzle contained. In the “My Puzzlets” section you get a set of the following pieces: two large triangles, two small triangles, one medium triangle, one square and one parallelogram. There is a grid to place the shapes on, and the 2 rules are: that pieces mustn’t overlap, and that you must use all pieces. To see what your creation would look like as a Tangram press the green arrow and you get to preview it, if you are happy with it you can save it, if not you can edit it. You can also take a picture of your creation during the process of making it or when you have completed it.
Tangrams are great puzzles for giving your brain a good work out and getting you to look at shapes in different ways. There are plenty of Tangram puzzle apps available on the app store but Shape Arts: Geometry Creations has some features that make it stand out from the crowd. Firstly, it has a huge number of puzzles, and with users creating new ones all the time the number just keeps growing, so there are constantly new puzzles to challenge you. Secondly, the ability to create your own puzzles is a great feature – it is fun to create your own new puzzles and challenge family members to solve them, and even more fun when you spot one of your creations in the “new puzzle” listings ! My kids loved working their way through all the levels in Dragon Shapes Geometry Challenge and I know this is an app they will keep coming back to time after time as well, as there will constantly be new puzzles to challenge them. The app also includes different marbles you can collect as rewards for achieving milestones in creating or solving puzzles.
When my children play this app they think they are just having fun, but in reality they are also learning important mathematical concepts about the properties of shapes, and how you can use shapes to create other shapes. They learn to look at shapes from all different angles and to compare different shapes to one another. They can learn a lot with this app by just exploring it on their own, but it is also a great conversation starter for discussing terms like parallel, perpendicular and symmetry if you sit down and explore the app with them. It is also a great app for working on visual-motor skills, problem solving and spatial awareness.
Overall, a very fun app, with lots of challenges, but one that allows children (and adults) to learn through playing and problem solving. The developer recommends the app for children aged 7+. I think it will be enjoyed from age 7 up to and including adults, and that slightly younger children will enjoy the easier puzzles too. My 6 year old twins, 10 year old and I all love to solve the puzzles and to create our own.
If you would like to download this app please use this link: Shape Arts: Geometry Creations – Lighthouse Learning
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).