If it has somehow escaped you, I am a gadget freak. My two favorite gadgets are my iPhone and iPad. I thought they were just for me but I have found them both to be excellent at distracting my munchkins (with music and videos) and teaching them, or reinforcing skills I’ve already taught them. I should have known they’d both love the iPad because they love every LeapFrog toy ever created. Back to the review. The thing about me is, I can be kind of cheap…which is odd since I have those gadgets right? Well maybe cheap is the wrong word. I don’t like to waste money on things I don’t know I (or they) will like. You could easily go bankrupt trying out all of the cool looking apps and not all of them (or even most) are going to be winners. That is why I was so stoked when I went to Starbucks and got a code for a free app a few months ago. What is this app? Dora ABCs of course!
What is it?
- Fact: This is an education application for the iPhone or iPad. It teaches children to trace upper and lower case letters and works on improving hand-eye coordination.
- Opinion: I know this does not teach children to independently write the alphabet or to write with a pencil. But I think it is a great first step, especially for my little one who has some trouble with fine motor skills.
How does it work?
- Fact: There are three game options; upper case letters, lower case letters, and both. The game begins with a short introduction from Dora explaining the child must help the pilot on his flight. When a new letter appears the plane is positioned in the direction it is supposed to fly. Each part of the letter is done separately in order to make it more manageable for younger children. The child must hit each acorn in order or that part of the letter restarts. Every acorn the child touches produces the sound the letter makes. After each letter there is a hand-eye coordination game. A greyish image of an item that starts with the letter just completed is shown with several slots for acorns to be placed (it looks kind of like a connect the dots picture, but isn’t). The child tilts the device to roll the acorns into the various slots. Once completed clouds roll in and then disperse to show the image (and the word is announced). Then on to the next letter.
- Opinion:I love this game and my four year old love this game. He will sit and go through the entire thing without getting bored, which is awesome. It has really improved his ability to trace – the fact that the game won’t proceed unless he completes the letter correctly is awesome! I’ve noticed similar games let children advance regardless (boo). I have read some reviews that children do not like the hand-eye game between the letters and my little one did not like it at first either. However, once I helped him with the first few he loved it. I think it is a nice way to break up the letters and it teaches another valuable skill.
Where can I get it?
The game is available at the App Store for $3.99. As I mentioned, I downloaded the game for free as part of a Starbucks promotion but knowing what I know now, I’d say the price is totally reasonable. There are no in game ads that will take little ones out of the game and it has tremendous educational value.
Should I try it?
Yes, if you have a child who is interested in learning to draw their letters or if you have a child that needs help with hand-eye coordination. No, if your child has mastered these skills or hates Dora.
I was not asked to review this item, Starbucks, Apple, and Nickelodeon could give a wit about me or my opinion