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Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler

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The Highlights Shapes app helps children learn shapes and colours through a fun and engaging way. Children are asked to follow the mysterious journey of a fox in the jungle, the sea and the outer space. The fox can only progress her journey if children solve specific puzzles by matching, sorting and categorising shapes and colours. The app becomes progressively more difficult helping children to enhance their skills and accommodate the learning needs of children with a diverse set of skills.

Teacher Review

The Highlights Shapes is an app that aims to help children learn shapes and colours. It is available in both the Google Play and the Apple store. It consists of 3 packs; the first one is free and the rest two are paid. Parents have the option to choose between two languages: English and Spanish, activate/deactivate voice and music, and learn more about the app in a password-protected link.  The app is suitable for young children aged 3-6 years old.
 
Children navigate a fox in its journey through the jungle (first pack: Ancient Jungle Puzzle), the deep sea (second pack: Magical Underwater Puzzle) and outer space (third pack: Mysterious Space Puzzle). To complete the fox's journey, children are asked to solve a number of puzzles by matching, sorting and categorising shapes and colours.  For example, in the fox's journey to the jungle, the children are asked to match a triangle, a square and a circle with the corresponding shapes of leaves by dragging shapes to the right position. If the matching is correct children hear the name and colour of the shape e.g. green square. If it is wrong, the chosen shape moves back to its original position indicating to children that they should try another shape. A correct matching often unlocks items such as a snake coming off a pot and brings up new items such as a pyramid.
 
Children can see a map of the entire journey and the position of the fox at a given moment. Yet, they are not allowed to move forward unless they have completed all previous puzzles. They can only move backwards and restart the journey. Each journey and each pack have a progressive level of difficulty which helps children stay focused and interested in the puzzle activities.
 
The first pack features 4 shapes and 8 colours, the second pack 7 shapes and 11 colours and the third pack 11 shapes and 11 colours. Overall, the app is well-designed and enjoyable and benefits children in a number of ways, including learning new vocabulary (shapes and colours), practising problem solving, and developing motor skills through dragging and dropping. Yet there are instances when the colour of shapes does not fit the environment within which shapes match such as colourful shapes as missing parts of a grey stone. It would be more realistic if the puzzle activities were better integrated into the fox's  journey and did not appear as a layer added on top of the journey. In other cases, the size of a chosen shape did not fit the matching shape e.g. it was smaller. Such activities may lead to confusion as to what the correct answer might be.
 
The app would benefit children further if it provided some flexibility in terms of how to progress through the fox's journey e.g., moving backwards and forwards and choosing which activity to complete first, second etc.  Also, it would be really helpful if the app maintained progression after it is shut down so as children can carry on a given puzzle when they re-enter the app. Towards this direction, it would be useful if the app provided scores for each successfully completed puzzle.

Screenshots

  • Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler-1Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler-2Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler-3Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler-4Highlights™ Shapes - Learning Puzzles for My Preschooler-5

From the Developer

Introduce your preschooler to a vibrant world of colors and shapes that builds math, critical thinking and language skills through play!

Accompanied by a friendly fox - and other animal buddies along the way - young children will learn and practice matching, sorting and categorizing both shapes and colors through imaginative activity-filled worlds. Visit an ancient jungle, the magical deep sea and mysterious outer space! The puzzle games are woven into engaging stories, and the games increase in challenge as you go.

Kids will benefit from:

  • Development of critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Creativity and curiosity as they explore new worlds of shapes and colors
  • Confidence as they make decisions and advance to new levels
  • Learning key math skills like matching, sorting and classifying by shapes and colors
  • Identifying and naming 11 shapes and 11 colors
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Security of an ad-free environment

Features

  • 3 progressing levels of challenge Ancient Jungle Puzzle Pack, Magical Underwater Puzzle Pack, Mysterious Space Puzzle Pack 
  • Audio of up to 121 combinations of shapes and colors
  • Hilarious surprises and delights to engage children along the way
  • Track progress, skip and replay functions
  • 3 language options (US English, UK English, Spanish)

This app is fun, creative, confidence building and developmentally appropriate - brought to you by the early childhood experts at Highlights and Italian creative studio Colto.

Highlights Shapes is an ideal first app for kids 2+, and easy for young children to play on their own. It’s playable in English (US + UK) and Spanish.

MORE ABOUT HIGHLIGHTS SHAPES

PREPARES CHILDREN FOR SCHOOL
As children progress through Highlights Shapes, they’ll develop creative thinking and essential problem solving skills, both critical for the start of formal schooling.

PROMOTES FUN, MEANINGFUL LEARNING
Highlights Shapes combines geometric, sorting and matching skills that are crucial for preschoolers to grasp, with the fun of an engaging, age-appropriate game. Children will learn valuable math and vocabulary skills all while having a blast traveling through new and exciting worlds!

PROMOTES CONFIDENCE AND CREATIVITY
In this game, children will foster confidence, creativity and curiosity as they make decisions, build colorful geometric scenes and explore three exciting environments.

DEVELOPS FINE MOTOR SKILLS
As children touch and drag each colorful shape, they’ll develop their fine motor skills.

INCREASES VOCABLUARY
As they correctly match and sort each object, children will hear their shapes and colors repeated aloud, helping them learn new words and increasing their existing vocabularies.

ABOUT US

Highlights for Children
Founded by educators Dr. Garry and Caroline Myers in 1946, Highlights was built on the belief that “Children Are the World’s Most Important People™.” Today, 70 years later, every “Fun with a Purpose™” product is still designed to help children become their best selves: creative, curious,caring and confident.

Colto
Colto is creating imaginative and educational mobile play experiences for kids around the world based on original and branded properties. Our Team, made up of a Mum/Teachers and talented Game Designers, Developers and Marketers, strives to develop high quality educational Apps that kids love and parents trust. Our games are ethical, safe and designed to be non addictive for kids.

Required iOS 7 onwards

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No