I have a four year old daughter who is learning to write and we LOVE using the iPad for this! Somehow she doesn't see it as tedious when it has sounds, music, games, and visuals attached. It was really important for me to get a stylus to use with these apps. I was very focused on getting her to hold a "pencil" correctly so writing with her finger seemed counter productive. We have two that we love but I'll talk about those on another day. :-D These are our FAVORITE handwriting apps- and we have tried a ton of them!
For Beginners: Letter School- $2.99
Letter school is the best out there for beginners- it really makes them want to learn and increases there overall knowledge! At least so far! It has capital and lower case letters as well as numbers. You can choose if you want Zaner-Bloser, D'Nealian, and HWT Style. And what is more you can have this customized for three different students- so if you want one student working on numbers, one on uppercase, and one only doing lowercase you can do that.
Every letter is displayed differently, in some of the letters it cuts grass, other lights up like Christmas lights, flowers bloom, candy goes around the letter, a rocket ship blasts off. Very exciting stuff! I found a video on YouTube demonstrating the app.
What I love about this app the most is that it breaks each letter down into three steps. Scaffolding at its finest!
Intermediate: iTrace- $3.99
This is my most recent discovery. I feel it is more for someone who has a grasp on what letters are and why they are important. This app has the ability to add you child's picture and name and then inside of words, it allows you to practice their name, choosing any color that they would like! How cool is that!
What really sets this app apart from all of the others is the history. You are able to see all of the past attempts for each letter and the date that it was written. Awesome! It will also tell you what letters are the favorites, tracks the number of letters written, time spent on the app, and what letters are tricky. This is great if you are not watching over the student's shoulder- and want to be sure that they are in fact practicing. :-) This app does not mandate that the letters are 100% perfect but does still make sure that it is close.
If you have never heard about the Handwriting without Tears program, it is worth checking out! This app offers capital letters and numbers. With each letter you write it three times. The first time you use a wash cloth, the second time a towel, and the third time a piece of chalk. This app is tough and sometimes frustrating for my daughter who is at the very beginning stages of learning her letters. It lacks the music and flashy elements but it demands a higher level of accuracy. In a Kindergarten or First Grade classroom this app would be hard to beat! When you go to far off the desired path, it will show you what to do and will have you start over. This app mandates that the letters are written well.
What I feel makes this app stand out is that you can pick and choose the letters that you would like to learn or you can follow the Handwriting Without Tears order. This order starts with the "easy" letters first and builds to the increasingly difficult letters. This method also claims to help students eliminate reversals.
I hope this helps in your journey to learning to write letters well. Do you know any other apps that are must have for helping to learn and master letters?
**** I am not being paid for these reviews or recommendations but if you would like to, let me know!