Merry Cubes HD – Free iPad app that provides the traditional cube puzzle game requiring rotation to match 6 different cubes pictures. Recommended for children ages 2-7 years. Information on the website describes its features:
- 6 different 3D fruit to match and discover
- 2 levels of difficulty – easy (4 cubes), hard (9 cubes)
- Funny animations as a reward after every other fruit is matched and surprising animation at the end of the game
- Designed for kids – no confusing menus or navigation.
This cube puzzle game provides a higher level visual spatial skill to rotate and flip the puzzle pictures to assemble the puzzle correctly. It takes some getting used to do the rotating and is rather touchy, requiring good graded control to rotate the pieces to obtain the correct orientation. The app provides options of Easy (4 cubes) and Hard (6 cubes) puzzle levels.
Merry Cubes provides music in the background which has no on or off within the app (just decrease or mute the volume control) which may or not be annoying to users. When you complete the assembly correctly it does provide a quick dancing fruit reward.
This app is certainly not for every child, it requires graded control to perform controlled rotation of the pieces and a high level perceptual ability to spatially orient the puzzle piece in your head to attain correct orientation. It could be an appropriate app for students with good fine motor control needing higher level visual spatial activities than the standard puzzle assembly. It provides similar demand to tanagram activities requiring rotation and translation of the pieces to complete a design. Although it states the app is good for fine motor skills, it does require some more advance two-fingered rotational finger movements to rotate pieces but, as many iPad apps the fine motor demands are limited in a 2D activity. If the need for fine motor skills exist, use of the 3-D, real cube blocks will best suit development of fine motor skills such as in hand manipulation skills and haptic abilities associated with manipulating real objects. If you have questions about fine motor skill development, consult a OT who can provide more information on improving fine motor development.
Check it out to see if it would benefit any of your students or patients would benefit from this app. I searched for other apps that might be similar to this app for a comparison and did not find any comparable apps.
If it sounds like it could be something that provides a different needed skill for your students, it might provide a visual spatial app for your OT iTool Kit.
What other visual spatial apps do you use?