Have you ever played tangram? The traditional tangram is a 7 piece puzzle game, each piece in a different shape, such as square, triangle, diamond. Using the 7 pieces, you can create endless pictures and patterns. We used to play with it a lot. There are many variations of the game now, and Dragon Shapes: Geometry Challenge is a great app that expands the original idea to a full array of 50 shape puzzles. Kids will learn to recognize different geometric shapes and most importantly the relationship between the shapes. They will also learn how to use shape units to create pictures of anything they want.
The app starts with a story of a dragon, who disappeared from the village. A warrior from the village tries to find him, but the only clues are some scales from the dragon, in different shapes and sizes … The story leads kids into the first level of the game. To begin with, the games are fairly easy, like putting two triangles together to form a big triangle. The difficulty levels progress as kids solve more puzzles. By the end of the first level, kids are using 3 different shapes to make a butterfly.
There are 5 levels of games, each level lead by the dragon story, and each level introduce some new shapes with more difficult puzzle problems to solve. There are a total of 50 puzzles in the app. The first 14 are in level 1 and are free. The rest 36 require In-App Purchase.
What kids can learn:
Kids will learn shapes, and the relationships between different shapes – such as which side of the triangle can share a line with this square.
While moving the pieces and putting them together to form the required picture, kids gain fine motor skills. Some pediatric OT may find it a good tool to train hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. If you ask kids articulate the shapes they are moving, it may also be a good articulation tool. I also see it be a good game for kids to learn following instructions, if you ask kids to put the puzzle together following a step-by-step instruction from you.
How parents can help:
Play with the kids, and talk about the shapes. The app offers some information about different shapes, such as triangle has 3 sides. But you can share more information about each shape: such as the 4 angles for a square are all 90 degree, and the sum of all three angles in a triangle is 180 degree.
I would also encourage parents cutting out some shapes with card board or even just some paper, and challenge kids make some their own shapes, like a ship, a horse, or whichever you two come up with.
Dragon Shapes – Geometry Challenges works on iPhone, iPod and iPAD. It is FREE to download, with 14 puzzles free. The rest 36 puzzles can be purchased via In-App Purchase for $2.99.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.