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The iPad has long been used to help kids be creative, with a huge array of different apps to get their imaginative juices flowing. One of the newer apps that is promoting creativity by using a building-style gaming platform is Bloxy HD.
Bloxy HD is a building app for kids aged 5-12 years where players can create lego-style 3D worlds using bricks and mini-characters. The app starts with choosing the size of background to place the bricks on, and from then on it is up to the players imagination to create a world of their choosing using bricks of different size, colour and style. The app has 14 person characters in different shapes and sizes (including a pirate, a princess, a fireman and a wizard) that can be placed on the background. Players can also change the background colour, set different brick texture (such as grass, wall, and water), and save and share their creations with others.
The movement of placing the bricks is intuitive, with a simple double tap that places the bricks on the background. Changing the brick colour and moving the camera is also perceptive and predictable. Within five minutes of playing around with the app, all the movements were easily understood.
The game gives players a blank canvas to play with, which supports creativity and idea generation. This app has many potential uses in the classroom. For example, getting students to construct a model of the Roman Colosseum or designing a new sports hall for the school. Other potential ideas would be to create vehicles, buildings and landscapes.
The app has some additional educational benefits, including
- Understanding and recognising geometric shapes
- Counting (i.e. I need 4 blocks to create a house)
- Role play
- Spatial intelligence
We really liked the intuitive nature of the app, and how it allowed complete creative control of the 3D world. We thought that it could have some excellent uses in the classroom, especially as a supplement to art, engineering or science classes.
Bloxy HD is free for limited time and is available on iPhone and iPad via iTunes.