Teach Through Apps: Tiggly Shapes

Teach Through Apps: Tiggly Shapes

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

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In the Tiggly Stamp app, your learner can use the shapes to create items on the screen, then record a story. In the picture above, when the circle was touched the screen a bear appeared. It’s a great tool for working one expressive language, social interaction, and flexibility.

Description: First, let me go ahead and admit that I’ve played with Tiggly Shapes even when none of my students were around. This simple set of four geometric shapes that interacts with three free apps is one of my favorite additions to play time. Adding a 3-dimensional component to the iPad is ingenious and provides opportunities to work on a wide variety of skills, but my favorite aspect of this great toy is that it brings social interaction to iPad apps in a highly motivating way.

Skills & Modifications:  The Tiggly Shapes can be used with several different apps, (three of which are free!) Within each skill listed below are examples of how to make modifications for each app.

– Fine Motor Skills – The shapes are great for young learners who struggle with fine motor skills. They are made of rubber and are easy to grip to allow for the learner to interact with the apps easily. For learners who struggle with grasping items and aiming items, this can be a highly motivating way to practice the skill.

– Shape Identification/Matching – In the Tiggly Safari app, a shape appears on the screen paired with the sound of an animal. The learner has to match the shape on the screen to one of the Tiggly shapes in order to make the animal appear. For the Tiggly Safari app, the only modification you can make is to reduce the field of choices when the child is trying to make a match. For example, if the image below shows up on the screen, you can present the circle and one other shape. However, you quickly want to move the learner towards successful matching with all four shapes present.


In Tiggly Safari, the circle appears on the screen and the learner hears a gobbling sound.



When the learner matches the 3D Tiggly Shape to the image on the screen, the turkey appears.

– Tacting (Labeling items) – The Tiggly Safari app allows for many opportunities for learners to tact what is in the picture.

– Expressive Language – The Tiggly Stamp app requires learners to tell a story based on what has appeared on the screen. The Tiggly Safari app provides multiple opportunities to discuss animals and the habitat in which they live. The Tiggly Draw app allows the learner to create images using  the shapes. Of the three apps, the Tiggly Draw app is the only one that you can easily modify to meet the particular needs of your learner. Here you can work on manding and describing what the learner wants to create.

– Flexibility – I especially love the app Tiggly Stamp because it significantly decreases opportunities for scripting or being rigid. Below you can see a video about the Tiggly Stamp app. To see a video of how this works, click here.

– Patterns – In the Tiggly Draw app learners can create both visual and audio patterns. Each shape and feature plays notes when it is placed. Once the learner has finished creating the image he/she wants to make, just push the star in the upper lefthand corner. It plays the music created by the shapes and allows the learner to take a picture.

tiggly– Peer Play – It’s rare to find apps that generate opportunities for peer play and social interaction. For learners who are highly motivated by the iPad, Tiggly Shapes can be a great tool for fostering play between the learner with autism and his/her siblings or peers. The addition of 3D shapes creates the ability to engage with the iPad together in a way that no other app does.

– Independent Play – This is a useful activity for learners to engage in during independent play, especially the Tiggly Safari app because the app specifically guides the learner through what to do. For learners who are able to engage in open-ended play independently, Tiggly Draw and Tiggly Stamp are excellent options.

Pros: There are three free apps that are highly motivating for learners and help practice a wide range of skills. There is also a Christmas app for $2.99 and hopefully more apps on the horizon.

Cons: The price is be a bit steep, but all three apps are useful and work on a wide range of skills. If your learner is highly motivated by the iPad and has goals related to increasing appropriate social interactions, this is well worth the cost.

Cost: $29.95 You should invest in this game if: you are a teacher or parent of young children and seeking opportunities for social interaction through the iPad, you work with learners with autism who are highly motivated by the iPad, or you are just a person who likes to have fun.

ABLLS: B6, B13, G2, G4, G12, G13, H48, K11, L18, L19, L20, Z28

VB-MAPP: Mand 5, Tact 5, VP-MTS 5, Tact 11, VP-MTS 15, Social Behavior & Social Play 15

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