Tiggly Shape’s Got Talent is another stunning star right out of the box by this stellar company and the effort to fuse both math and literacy into a creative storyline is much appreciated. This app, which is part storybook, part math game, part drama lessons, with a bit of social and emotional learning thrown in is bursting at the seams. Oh, did I forget to mention the PLAYGROUND? Yes, this “sandbox of sorts” alone could keep a child engaged indefinitely. Folks, this here is called transmedia with tangible toys supporting the storytelling space focusing on the property of shapes and spatial relations. Besides collaborating with top-notch early childhood professor and mathematician, Herbert Ginsburg from Columbia University’s Teachers College the storyline was edited by the Emmy-award winning writer Jill Turner, the former writer of highly acclaimed children’s shows shown on PBS such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood which was based on Fred Rogers characters. The cast of voices is like a who’s who in in the best of children’s television, starring the voice of Jennifer Barnhart (AvenueQ, Cleo in Between the Lions, Mama Bear in Sesame St); Tyler Bunch (Baby Cookie Monster, Louie in Bedtime with Elmo); and Peter Linz (Walter in The Muppets, Snook in It’s a Big Big World, Theo Lion in Between the Lions).
– Highly interactive and engaging storyline written by Prof Herbert Ginsburg
– Highlighting word by word as the narrator reads the story, critical for developing reading skills
– Four mini games which help you experiment with shapes
– Record your own voice reading the story to your child or simply have it be read to you
– Dressing up and free play with characters in Playground
– Record your own stories in Playground or read the prewritten story with characters in their costumes
– Take pictures with the shapes on the stage
Children we worked with were delighted and wowed by the diversity of activities and the fun surprises that awaited after every curtain call. Despite the occasional confusion, there can be times when there is much talking or children weren’t sure which direction they wanted to go, they were focused and learning. Challenges that needed critical thinking skills were cleverly presented and trial and error resolved the problems. The children also created their own masterpieces by recording their very own stories and taking screen shots with the stars in the free play screen stage. The app works with the four separately sold silicon shapes or with a simple touch of the screen it can be switched to a “manual” mode using fingers to manipulate the shapes on the screen. The app is chock full of merriment and playfulness while introducing little ones to important geometry concepts!