When we were children, the majority of today’s technology was years away from becoming a main aspect of our everyday lives. However, those born into today’s society are faced with these rapidly growing technological advances from the start. Electronics have come to replace the very objects and toys older generations played with and learned from throughout their adolescence. And now, with Shape Sorting Box by StoneDesign, an iPhone application has once again become the alternative for a classic children’s educational toy.
When you begin, users will immediately find the main menu. However, they will need to choose one of the flags on the left side of the screen in order to read the directions in their desired language. These directions teach you what each button means and precisely what they should hope to accomplish by using this application to teach their children shapes and colors.
You see, Shape Sorting Box stems from the classic toy that teaches children to distinguish between shapes and colors, developing their hand-eye coordination. Designed for children between one and three years of age, Shape Sorting Box requires children to take the three given shapes and fit them into the appropriately shaped holes in order of how they are stacked in a pile to the side of the box. They may choose either a red or blue box, and may choose whether to use 3, 6 or 9 blocks at any time. For older children, they may even choose to race against the timer to see how quickly they can get each shape into its designated hole.
Unfortunately, Shape Sorting Box in no way compares to the physical toy of one’s childhood. While children who learn with the toy must actually pick up, observe and then place the shape in the correct hole, this application substitutes the touch-and-learn process with mere dragging and precise placement. In fact, to place a shape in its proper hole, the child must have exact precision, or the shape will simply sit on top, never falling into the hole as it would if the child were to shove the shape into a physical box. Instead, the child must wait until the shape lines up exactly with the outline on the box, a type of precision and patience most children would probably not understand. Perhaps Shape Sorting Box comes in handy when parents and children are on-the-go, but to use such an application as a replacement for such an educational tool would be to rob children of the traditional skills and knowledge all children must comprehend and learn to succeed in other areas of life, for the concept of a child using an iPhone at such an early age is honestly preposterous.
Shape Sorting Box [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.