Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
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Doodle Critter Math: Shapes

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Learning takes shape as cute critters teach early geometry skills

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Math
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Pre-K-K
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Pros: Cheerful critters make learning about shapes fun, and the interactive activities seamlessly progress from basic to more complex.

Cons: Kids don't get specific feedback for incorrect answers, but they can try until they get it right.

Bottom Line: Cute, engaging resource for introducing kids to basic shapes and challenging them to apply what they've learned.

Use Doodle Math: Shapes as a fun way to introduce kids to basic shapes. Starting with the Learn Shapes activity, have kids work in pairs to learn the names and attributes of each shape. Then come together as a class to review the activity and ask kids to try drawing each shape on paper. Work through the rest of the activities using the same general process, finishing with the Find activity. As an assessment, have kids create their own hidden shapes scene, similar to the ones in the activity. Then ask kids to share their puzzles with a partner and have the partner identify all of the hidden shapes. 

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Doodle Math: Shapes is an early childhood math resource that teaches kids basic shapes through colorful, interactive activities. Cute critters and a friendly narrator guide kids to identify, form, and sort shapes including squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi circles, trapezoids, pentagons, and hexagons. Kids can choose from six different activities. In the Learn activity, kids learn the names of shapes. They tap on a critter to make dots appear, then connect them to form a particular shape. In Sort, kids feed each critter by finding shapes that match the critter. Shapes may vary by color and size, adding a challenge. In Match, kids drag a shape to match it with a real-life object in a given picture. In Remember, kids have to find hidden shapes that have been placed in a box. In Make, kids drag different shapes to complete animal puzzles. And in the Find activity, kids find a series of shapes hidden in a picture. These last two activities include limited sets with additional puzzles available for in-app purchase.

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Kids can learn the names and identifying features of squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi-circles, trapezoids, pentagons, and hexagons. Kids can also learn how to identify shapes found in everyday objects and how to assemble shapes to form a picture. Doodle Math: Shapes could be more explicit in teaching about shapes by, for example, counting sides as kids draw each shape. However, the app does a nice job of going beyond cookie-cutter shapes to show that, for example, "pentagon" really means any shape with five sides. One of the activities even helps kids with memory, as they watch shapes being hidden in boxes and have to identify which shape is in which box. The app is an excellent introduction to early geometry, and the activities gently progress from easy to more challenging. Kids will feel empowered as they use their skills to find hidden shapes within relatively complex drawings. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Cute critters and a wide variety of activities will keep kids engaged; the hidden shapes activities are particularly fun for young learners.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can start by learning the basics and progress to more complex skills such as identifying shapes in real-world objects and finding shapes hidden within scenes.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Each activity includes an instruction screen with text and illustrations to help kids get started. There's a supporting video and news blog on the developer's website.


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