Kid-Sized Shape Sorting Puzzles
- What: Tangram Mania
- When: 2 years and up
- Why: Free, educational, entertaining
- Where: Amazon, app store
Looking for a free app that you won’t feel guilty about your kids playing? Check out Tangram Mania, one of several apps from Bacarox specifically for kids.
Tangram Mania offers the joy of tangrams on a much younger level. (I can solve all of these! Maybe most of my brain cells didn’t go to my kids.) Tangrams, in case you haven’t tried them, use shapes to construct pictures. Tangram Mania offers images appealing to kids, ranging from police cars and fire engines to animals, houses, and flowers.
Each picture uses different colored shapes, like squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, and more, to finish the puzzle. A blank cutout shows where the missing shapes go, and a completed guide picture helps kids locate and place the correct shapes, much like the lid of a puzzle box. The shapes themselves line up at the bottom of the screen and can be dragged into place on the picture puzzle. If they don’t land in the correct spot, the shape returns to the lineup to try again. Users can choose between three backgrounds: blue, pink, or wooden. It requires zero literacy skills and all three of my kids could easily handle the motions by age two.
Once kids complete a puzzle, they get rewarded with colored confetti and animation. The best part for parents? This app has zero sound effects, meaning it won’t get annoying no matter how long they play it (at least not because of noise), and it works great for crowded spaces or around napping siblings.
You can get the app for free, or pay $1 for fewer ads.