A new iPad app is designed to help kids learn shapes and colors using colorful, architecture-inspired graphics straight out of the Bauhaus era.
ShapeKit, invented by designers c+y and aimed at kids ages 6 to 12, uses simple shapes and fun colors to help kids learn foundational skills. The app gives kids facts about each shape. For example, a square has four equal sides. These shapes can then be put together to make characters or landscapes, like digital wood blocks. For older kids, the app gives them an opportunity to make an animation, moving their creatures slowly and taking “snapshots” that add up to movement, just like they would in stop-motion photography.
The look of ShapeKit was inspired by artists like Paul Klee and Ladislav Sutnar, who in turn influenced the 20th-century Bauhaus style of architecture. The physicality of typical Bauhaus designs was also translated into the app, whose creators say they wanted the experience to feel more like playing with blocks than with a video game.
“The mechanical features, such as hole punches to create joints and merging shapes together, aimed to emphasize the physicality of creation. We want children to feel like they are building an object that can move and come to life, not just drawing on a screen,” creators Caroline Oh, and Young Sang Cho say.
Like the unbridled creativity games such as Minecraft inspire in young kids, we hope to see ShapeKit’s simple tools be pushed to their limit. The app is now available in the App Store for $3.