by Brent Dirks
December 18, 2013
Company: Kidtellect Product: Tiggly Shapes Price: $29.95 Compatibility: All generations of iPad and iPad mini Website: tiggly.com Date: Dec. 18, 2013
The ProductIf you’re a parent, it’s hard not to stare in amazement at some of the absurd iOS accessories designed for kids like the iPotty or Fisher-Price iPad Bouncy Seat. But if you’re looking for a safe and responsible way to introduce an iPad to younger children, take a look at Tiggly Shapes from Kidtellect. There are four different Tiggly Shapes to use – a circle, square, star, and triangle. Designed for children 18 months to 4 years old, the shapes are easy to pick up and are made with and soft and flexible silicone. Even so, they are easily built to stand up to some abuse from toddlers as my son has banged the shapes on the floor, and they survived without a scratch. They are also very easy to clean as just a warm washcloth will take off any dirt and grime transferred from your child’s hands. The touch points on the bottom of the shapes are designed to be recognized with the compatible apps and are very gentle to the iPad’s screen.
The AppsKids can take advantage of four different apps that are compatible with the shapes. Tiggly Stamp, Tiggly Safari, and Tiggly Draw are free to download now. The new Tiggly Christmas app will set you back $1.99 in the App Store. At least in my house, my son’s favorite app has been Tiggly Safari. Since he’s been obsessed with any and all animals, this app is quite a treat. Kids can construct jungle, farm, and sea animals from the shapes. In the earlier levels, simple animals are created with just a single shape. But as the game goes on, the animals become more complex and require a number of shapes. While playing, kids are also prompted to recognize basic shapes and practice fine motor skills by catching objects. Tiggly Stamps turns the blocks into more than 80 funny animals, fruits, and other seasonally themed objects. The app repeats each name of the object, helping to teach children the words. With the video recorder option, kids can tell a story and also make a movie by dragging the pieces around. One of my son’s favorite features in the app is the ability to take a photo of the different scenes to look at later. As the name suggests, Tiggly Draw is designed to bring out the inner artist in your child. With 10 different backgrounds to select from, the shapes can be used to create different drawings. Kids can even use the app and shapes to create more than 1,000 simple musical compositions. And Tiggly Christmas is perfectly timed for the holiday season as kids can decorate a tree, open gifts, play with toys, take pictures, and even send cards. The shapes can be used to make fun objects like a rocking horse or magic train.
- All the shapes are well designed and constructed and can easily handle some abuse.
- Large enough for smaller children to pick up and use with the iPad.
- Apps are all well thought out and make great use of the shapes while teaching and entertaining.
- Felt pouch helps parents keep track of the shapes.
- Just four apps are compatible with the shapes, and one of those is paid.
Our AdviceKids are drawn to our iOS devices. And, especially for younger children, Tiggly Shapes is a perfect way to introduce them to how an iPad works while at the same time helping them to learn and develop their spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and more. I highly recommend the shapes to any parent. My 2-year-old son has really enjoyed the shapes, and the system been a perfect way to help bridge the gap between the real world and what is on the screen. The four apps are a great start to the ecosystem, providing a fun and interesting way to both entertain and teach kids. I hope Kidtellect can continue to create more compatible apps in the future.
ScoresAesthetic Appeal: ★★★★☆ Wow Factor: ★★★★☆ Build Quality: ★★★★★ Value: ★★★★☆ Buy Now: $29.95, Apple.com [gallery link="file"]