PLAY 123 is an educational iOS app for pre-school and kindergarten aged children where they can practice basic geometrical, spacial, and logic concepts in a free-form environment. The app focuses around shapes and their relationship with the surrounding area. Users draw lines, circles, squares, and triangles, and monitor the interaction among objects. Before users can enter the free form arena, they must follow narrated instructions, and trace or draw shapes neatly. Once they have mastered the shape, they can stack, cluster them, or break them using the touch screen. The app is very easy to use and simple in its functionality. It is not recommended to older users, as they would quickly become bored with the limited activities. But for children aged 2 to 5, it is a great way for them to learn very basic mathematical concepts.
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The basic principles of scaffolding are inherent in PLAY 123. Users begin by tracing the shapes that appear on the screen. Once they successfully recreate a passable rendering, users are given an activity. Activities include a Tetris-like stacking game, a drawing game, and a game that combines shapes with lines. They are all very simple, but in order for users to enjoy the activities, they must have learned the basic concepts behind the relationships among shapes. Users must first remember how to draw the shape. Once the shape is drawn, its name is announced by a friendly narration. Essentially, PLAY 123 helps reinforce the names of the shapes, the way they are drawn, and how the interact with the environment. Theses very basic concepts can later be applied in the classroom setting.
Before players can move on to the next activity in PLAY 123, they must demonstrate an aptitude for being able to draw the shape. The first shape they must draw is a circle. Using the touch screen, users will trace the outline of the shape. If they do not create a full circle, the app will not allow them to move on to the next activity. Users must be able to judge their control over fine motor skills, making changes to their hand or seating position if they are having trouble drawing the shapes. PLAY 123 will also help users to develop spacial awareness skills, which will help them understand how everyday objects interact with the surrounding environment. The game might even make users more aware of how their movements and reactions will affect others.
PLAY 123 introduces young users to very basic geometrical concepts. The app is not intended for children even of the late grammar school age. Its purpose is simply to create an opportunities for users to explore shapes without restriction. As long as users prove they can draw the shapes, they are given free reign during the next phase of play. The app can even make younger users excited about the unlimited possibles of math and geometry, and certainly puts them ahead of their peers in terms of how they understand shapes.
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