KinderTown Loves Tiggly Shapes!

Using the iPad to learn about shapes provides another avenue for exploration and learning.

Shapes are one of the core learning concepts for early childhood development. Using the iPad to learn about shapes provides another avenue for exploration and learning.


Tiggly Shapes

Tiggly combines the digital world with physical manipulatives that are so important for young children. I value hands on learning, and when I saw the Tiggly Shapes I was instantly in love! Tiggly Shapes are hands on 3-D learning shapes (square, circle, star and triangle) that interact with the free Tiggly Shapes apps on the iPad. They are rubbery, durable and easy to grip for little hands. I think this concept is right on target for early learners and I could not wait to try them with children. As I suspected our kid-testers loved them too!


Most recently, Tiggly added a bilingual feature allowing you to choose two languages to engage with while playing with the Tiggly apps. Let me overview three of the free apps that go with the Tiggly Shapes. Also, if you aren’t up for purchasing the Tiggly Shapes you can use a lite version of the apps for free. Tiggly Shapes and their apps are appropriate for children ages 18 months to 4 years old. KinderTown rarely recommends apps for children this young, but we feel strongly that the hands on component of these shapes is appropriate for children as young as 18 months when used alongside an adult. Parents, please note that you must match the shapes to the screen when the app launches to allow the Tiggly shapes to sense the screen. Also, check out the parent section in each app for additional information. Tiggly apps are only made for the iPad.


Tiggly Safari

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Tiggly Safari invites children to match the correct shape to the outline of the shape shown on the screen. After matching the shape, the app shows the shape, and the coordinating word. Then the shape is made into a safari animal, all while hearing the animal sound in the background. In multi-language mode the name of the shape is said in both languages that are selected. Also, the word is shown in both languages. As the app progresses, multiple shapes are combined to make animals and different orientations of each shape are shown. Tiggly Safari is the app I would recommend using first with your Tiggly Shapes.


Tiggly Draw

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Tiggly Draw allows your child to create characters from the Tiggly Shapes. Add a funny face, a mustache or silly feet, and then save the creation to your camera roll. The shape characters come alive with animation and sounds after they are created. Choose from 10 different backgrounds, and the character combinations are endless. Parents, have fun sharing your child’s work with friends and family. In addition to learning about shapes, your child is developing vocabulary associated with character parts as well as giggling over their silly animations.


Tiggly Stamp

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Tiggly Stamp is an open-ended creative play scene to use with the Tiggly Shapes. Each time a shape is “stamped” on the screen it becomes an object to play with in the scene. Your child may create an animal, decoration or flower. Many of the scenes presented have a theme often based on the time or year. My favorite feature of Tiggly Stamp is the recorder. This is especially great for developing oral language and interacting with your child. Tell a story about the scene with your child and the voice recorder will record all your interactions. Play your story back or delete it and create another one. This will surely be something you will want to treasure as a parent. I love listening to my child tell the story and I like knowing that I have preserved the sound of her young voice. A great keepsake for any parent or loved one!



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3 Creative and Educational Apps for Kids

Read KinderTown's reviews of these creative, educational apps.

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” — Ken Robinson


Wreck this App

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Wreck this App, as the name implies, invites children to make a mess with the pages in this virtual journal. Each page gives the user a prompt in order to think as an artist or start into an artistic direction with their own thoughts and ideas. Wreck This App is based on the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. The app is intentionally created in black and white and has a simple interface that children ages 4 and up can easily use. The journal does not read the prompts to you, but younger children are able to navigate the tools once the prompts are read aloud to them. This would be an engaging app to take on a trip, to use while waiting in an airport, or on a rainy or snowy day inside. Some examples of the prompts included on the pages are: Add a photo of dirt, garbage or stains, trace your toes, or document a boring event in detail. This app makes your child think in many different directions and they can use words, photos, or drawing tools to express their answers. If your child doesn’t like the creation they’ve made, they can erase it and create another one. The app does have options for easily sharing to social media so parents will want to monitor their children when using the app or disable these features on your iPad. Wreck this App is available for $4.99 for iphone and iPad and uses creative prompts and ideas to make a digital journal your child can enjoy coming back to again and again.



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PlayArt makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an interactive Art Museum. Add a background of Monet’s and add artistic elements of Van Gogh and empower your child to take on the feeling of famous painters to create their own pieces. The app has an area where kids can save their masterpieces in the My Museum section. Within the app, children can decide which painter’s elements are their favorite’s and save them to their own personal pallet. Children can also add their own paint to the background of notorious painters or start with an empty canvas. The app includes 160 elements and 48 canvases from 8 famous painters. The app is completely kid safe and does have options for sharing to social media but they are locked. We wish that the app contained more information about the well-known artists themselves, so parents may have to supply the information once children are exposed to the painters. This app is sure to pique their interest in prominent painters work and enjoy the process of creating their own unique paintings.


Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App

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The app is based on the famous book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems. The app is cleverly titled “Don’t let the Pigeon Run this App.” In this app, appropriate for children ages 3-6, your child brings a new Pigeon story to life when the bus driver asks for ideas. The app is narrated by the author, Mo Willems, as himself and the Pigeon. When opened, the app awakens with the happy cheering voices of children. Choose create your own story to begin. This app offers three different options for creating your own pigeon story depending on your child’s level; egg, chick or big pigeon. The egg level creates a new pigeon story for your child to listen to and invites them to read along. We recommend leaving the reading tab open so your child can see the words as the story is told. The chick level gives your child picture choices in order to customize the story. In the Big Pigeon level, your child then uses their own voice to add their own ideas…a definite parent favorite. Once you make choices for the story you must shake the pigeon in order for the story to be created. Finally, listen to your story and laugh with your child and enjoy literature, storytelling and the experience of loving a book character. The app saves all your child’s creations under Favorite Stories and includes an area where your child can learn to draw the pigeon himself. This is an app to be enjoyed alongside your child and is sure to be loved by children of all ages. To find out more about, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App, download the free KinderTown App, the Educational App Store for engaged parents.


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Artistic Apps by Avokiddo

These apps are so artistically created that you will wonder whether you child is playing and learning with art or an iPad, really it’s both.

I love the artistic quality of the Avokiddo apps so much that I would like to highlight both Avokiddo ABC Ride and Avokiddo Emotions. These apps are so beautifully created that you will wonder whether your child is playing and learning with art or an iPad. (Really it’s both!)


Avokiddo ABC Ride

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Avokiddo ABC Ride blends the great artistic qualities of cut-paper art design with learning letters. The characters, Beck and Bo, appear in the park, and your child can begin to play with them as he chooses a bike to ride through the park. Along the way, activities included in the scenery prompt your child to play a learning game that is associated with a letter. Once the activity is completed, students must reconstruct a word that starts with that letter. Another way to navigate the app is to use the ABC icon in the corner to choose a specific letter. In the parent section, choose uppercase or lowercase letters, whether to have the app state the letter name or the phonics sound, and other options, such as music and narration check boxes. Avokiddo ABC Ride combines artistic characters and scenes with a healthy dose of play while your child learns letter names and sounds. Avokiddo ABC Ride costs $2.99, is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available on iPhone and iPad.


Avokiddo Emotions

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Avokiddo Emotions opens with Avokiddo’s signature artistically created characters. Tap on the zebra, sheep, or giraffe to play with the character. Next, objects fall onto the screen, and your child gets to choose which ones to attach to the character. For example, a big straw hat turns the character into a beach-loving animal. With each object and scene, the characters display emotions associated with the scene and objects. Decide which foods to feed the characters to see how they will react. (Do they like pumpkin, watermelon, or a sandwich?) You can save your picture to your camera roll while playing or pull the lever to have all new objects come into the scene. Through this type of play, young children are learning about emotions, cause and effect, and body language. Avokiddo Emotions is available for $2.99,is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available for iPhone and iPad. Enjoy the artistic characters and explore their emotions as you add fun props.


Show What You Know: Cut Paper Art

The app, Beck and Bo is designed in a cut paper style. Grab all your paper scraps around the house and have fun creating a cut paper masterpiece and incorporate letter-sound associations, too.



-scraps of paper or full sized pieces of paper


-1 larger piece of paper to use as a construction base



Have your child begin to cut paper to design a picture. For example, cut out a circular shape for a ship, circles and squares for windows, and long rectangles for the mast. Arrange the cut pieces on the larger piece to create a picture. While creating this with your child, attach the beginning letter or word to objects. For example, write the letters “Sh” on the ship, and “M” on the mast. Talk about the beginning sounds with your child. Provide the letters and sounds if your child is at the beginning stages of learning their letters. If your child knows most of their letter sounds, write the word and ask “What else begins like the word sun?” This activity can be tailored to many different levels. Also, allow your child to experiment and explore with different abstract shapes that may not have a direct letter or word correlation.


We would love to hear from you…. Does your child love one of our apps? Did you try the “Show What You Know” activity? Let us know what you thought at


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