Tiggly Shapes by Tiggly is a physical toy which is used with your iPad or other device including Kindle and several Android devices using three different apps which include Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw. They are designed to help toddler through early preschool (18 – 36 month) olds learn basic shapes in a tactile format as well as on the iPad. The app can also be used by special needs students who may need tactile learning as well as the written shape. Toddlers can touch the shapes physically and feel the “bumps” which make the shape as well as press the shapes on your iPad using their apps which shows you if it is correct or not. Skills practiced using Tiggly Shapes include: shape recognition, colors, hand eye coordination, cognitive development as they match a shape to the physical toy, as well as learning how to use a tablet if not previously exposed.
Inside the Tiggly Shapes box are four 3-D shapes which include: square, circle, triangle and star. The shapes are small enough to be held by little hands and manipulated. You can also use them with the included Tiggly apps, Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Draw and Tiggly Stamp. There is also a small carry bag designed to keep them together. The shapes are soft, but substantial with a gripping coating which makes it easier for little hands to manipulate them. They use capacitive touch point technology which enables them to interact with your touchscreen device. They are washable with soap and water should they get messy or dirty.
My toddler loved Tiggly Shapes. We first explored them outside of the iPad and traced them with our fingers. Being a toddler, he also turned them in all directions as we talked about the shapes. I hadn’t really introduced him to the iPad prior to getting Tiggly Shapes so we then tried them out on the iPad as a touch rather than using the app so he could see that they were meant to be used on the iPad. We then tried them out on the iPad and it was amazing to see that he understood how to touch them onto the shapes – even if he couldn’t articulate to me what shape they were. I also encouraged him to speak the shapes “circle” or “square”. I also used the apps in guided access mode to ensure that we didn’t accidentally exit the app and turned off the multi-gestures because at times my son would move the shape on the screen by mistake due to the way he gripped the shape. The shapes are soft underneath and so I didn’t have to worry they would scratch my iPad and they picked up well even with my Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini. I would encourage you to limit the amount of time that you played with the shapes in a sitting – my toddler generally lasted 10 minutes while we used them, but I also based that upon his age. I also liked that you didn’t have to be online to play with the toys or apps and could simply sit in the living room or other play area, pull out the shapes and play for a few minutes and when you were done cleanup was a snap!
The apps were bright and colorful and encouraged my son to “play along”. His favorite was the Safari app where we found the animals. There were several times where there were lots of animals on the screen and I had to help him position the shape correctly or it wouldn’t pick up that he had found an animal.
Tiggly Stamp was a bit harder for him due to the amount of things contained on the screen. He liked hearing the items “named” especially the animals but struggled a bit when trying to use the app. I’d love to see a “free stamp area” where we could press down the shapes on the screen such as a page for just one shape so we could practice put it down over and over again.
Tiggly Draw was an app that my older son loved to experiment with. He made a number of “drawings” which we saved to the camera roll and was able to use the app to create different objects. He did note that at times the shapes didn’t always work, but I think that was due to the fact that he wasn’t fully setting them on the iPad flat.
In terms of enhancements, I do wish there were more shapes offered. These shapes cover most of the “basic” shapes but adding additional shapes would give the toy more variety. In terms of shapes I’d love to see would be rectangle, a plus sign, or even a heart.
Overall, I liked the shapes and the way that we could do both tactile learning as well as teaching my son how to use the iPad in an age appropriate manner. There are no external links or in-app purchases, you can unlock the apps using the shapes. This was a great way to introduce my toddler to the iPad and my older son enjoyed using the Tiggly Draw app to create his own artwork. The fact that there is a toy both of my kids can use which grows with them was a win in my book!
Tiggly Shapes is priced between $20 – $30 USD and can be purchased from Tiggly,Amazon
and other retailers.
Apps for use with Tiggly Shapes (also includes Lite version for those without the shapes)
Tiggly Safari: Preschool Shapes Learning Game
Tiggly Safari: Preschool Shapes Learning Game
Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 WiFI, iPad 2 3G, iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini, iPadMini4G
Size: 64.79 MB