Therefore, when I find new ways to work educational aspects in with entertainment, I know that they are going to be doubly as well-received. It's the best of both worlds and something we can all appreciate!
Which is why I knew right away that the launch of iTrace, a handwriting app for the iPad, would be just the thing to merge my girls' love of the tablet with their passion to learn.
Developed under the guidance of seasoned educational professionals, iTrace uses the iPad's touch screen to teach children the basics of writing and spelling. Numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, words, and even the child's own name are all used in a simple, straightforward manner that draws kids in and keeps them interested time and time again.
As iTrace includes adaptive visual hints and gentle narration, children are easily able to use their fingers to trace each shape without parental assistance. Even better, the app contains support for multiple players, therefore not only saving the entire history of each player (ensuring that their individual progress is clearly documented) but the collection of visual rewards helps celebrate continued success along the way.
As I browsed iTrace, I could immediately see that the creators had put time and thought into making the app user-friendly for kids as well as adults. The clear illustrations, wording and arrows allows children to move from one section to the next easily, while the Settings section makes it simple for parents to choose left- or right-handed options, customizing how letters are drawn, and more.
Right away I appreciated that it took only about one minute to introduce Big Sister E and Little Sister B to iTrace and show them how to select their profile, choose which aspect of writing they wanted to work on, and more.
As they began taking turns trying out the app, they were both captivated by being given the chance to trace each letter in the hopes of receiving a gold star on the screen to indicate an excellent job. Little Sister B in particular has proven extremely motivated to work hard to make sure that gold star shows up!
Along with the feeling of accomplishment that my girls receive from completing their letters and numbers correctly, iTrace includes a cute picture-matching game (akin to Where's Waldo? with an object that starts with the letter that they just demonstrated) that they have gotten a big kick out of as well!
With over 600 different rewards, 50 animated objects, colorful scenes and words of all levels to write out, iTrace has been a fun and interactive way for both of my girls to work on perfecting their writing skills... while having bonus spelling lessons at the same time.
I've been ultimately very impressed with the simple, engaging, and rewarding manner that iTrace uses to help children learn the basics of handwriting from the comfort and familiarity of their favorite device (currently available for iOS only) and love the way that it has been helping Little Sister B get more proficient at her skills.
As for Big Sister E, I have found that she seems to be just on the upper end of the age range for this app. I only wish that we were able to use some sort of stylus so that she could practice tracing the letters as if she was truly writing them (we tried using the eraser end of a pencil but the iPad didn't recognize it) instead of running her fingertip on the screen. However, for the preschool age group, I'm excited that iTrace has been so well-received!
Available now on iTunes for $3.99, iTrace is a great way to teach kids handwriting at a young age in a way that will keep it fun and interesting (there's a chance that I may encourage my husband to create a profile on the app as well, in hopes that his chicken scratches will someday become more legible).
Find out more by checking out iTrace on iTunes today!
I was provided with an iTrace download in order to facilitate my review as well as a gift to thank me for my time. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own.