Busy Shapes by Edoki is an app that I use on a weekly basis. It allows you to quickly assess the thought processes of a child and witness how direct experience impacts their ability to make decisions. Based on Piaget’s research on cognitive development, this app begins with cause and effect play and evolves into an exercise in problem-solving and tool use. It bridges the gap from being reactive to environmental stimuli to being proactive through decision-making. Gameplay is simple and basically, it is to match and sink a shape into its corresponding hole. Sounds simple, but there are plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way! There are six different levels to Busy Shapes; each level is scaffolded off the foundation of the previous level. Kids test out shapes, colors, and size in overcoming obstacles. Learning is organic and organized as kids begin to expand their scope and view of what is possible. Ultimately kids discover that everything is a tool and are constantly scanning and alerting to changes in play and making needed adaptations in the scope of play. It is quite addicting, and there are always requests for one more game! Solutions foster creativity and “thinking outside of the box”. If an error is made, simply starting the play screen again with a different approach will eventually lead to a solution. There is no judgment or buzzers placed in this app for failure to sink a shape, and therefore it provides the space for confidence to arise and try another approach. In summary, this is a preschool “essential app”. It is a great assessment tool in finding out how kids think and problem-solve, as well as where they get “stuck”. This is one app that can help nourish that spark in a beginning learner, and turn them into a lifelong learner.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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