Ed Emberley’s Shake & Make App – Gone Free

Ed Emberley's Shake & Make icon

Back in the day when working one on one with students, I loved using Ed Emberley’s books, providing step by step instructions for how to draw all kinds of animals, objects and seasonal themes with students as a visual motor, visual perceptual/ spatial relationship intervention. Ed Emberley’s numerous books remain available, providing many step by step drawing choices.

Ed Emberley's Shake & Make iconThe app, Ed Emberley”s Shake & Make  app (iPhone/iPad; requires iOS 4.3; regularly .99 with in – app purchases) is also available and currently free. Not a drawing app but puzzle activity (similar to a tangram but with fun pictures), this app provides visual perceptual tasks that may be suited as an intervention activity therapy or as a recommended intervention for for home or classroom. Recommended for ages 8 – 108. Not available on Android.

Ed Emberley's Shake & Make app pic1

So, how does it work? Find a picture, shake the device to break it apart and reassemble it. Need help with reassembling, tap the hint button and the model of the pictures is available.

Ed Emberley's Shake & Make pic2

A few options are available in the app including sound, timer, twirly and music, all which can be turned off.

The 8 years and above appears appropriate for the activities which requires assembly of 6 plus puzzle pieces from memory, a tough task.  A hint option is available which displays the assembled picture providing a visual model to work from. Use the app to create the picture then take a screen shot and draw it and reassemble it might be an option for therapy use.

The Ed Emberley books are great books for working with students in and out of the classroom for step by step drawing. I have supported students in and out of  the art room or classroom during projects that use of a concrete model to produce an age appropriate drawing might be helpful. It also is a great visual motor, visual perceptual activity that is very OT oriented, producing something with the student. Not only are objects, people  and animals available in his books, he also has theme related pictures for Halloween and other seasonal events.

Interested in more about the Ed Emberley books? Check your school library – they usually have these popular, tattered, well worn books available.

Here are just a few of the Ed Emberley books that are available:


Here is a listing of more Ed Emberley drawing books:

Ed Emberley’s Books in OT’s with Apps Amazon Store

Check it out. Will this be a tool for your OT mTool Kit?



About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Rubric, Drawing, iPad, iPhone, Occupational Therapy, Uncategorized, Visual Memory, Visual Motor, Visual Perception. Bookmark the permalink.

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