Chalk Walk

 

Learning(i)

Kids learn pencil grip but still need real practice.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The activities are easy to use and navigate. There is an illustration for what to do, but more details and tips on how to form and effectively use the pincer grip on the iPad would help kids.

Violence & scariness
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Sexy stuff
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Language
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Consumerism
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Privacy & safety
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Chalk Walk is a digital way for kids to practice the "pincer" grip -- the grasp used when holding a pencil or other writing utensil. Kids trace lines through increasingly difficult levels, keeping their thumb and index finger pinched together. In each round, kids trace around letters that eventually spell out words, adding a touch of literacy. Getting used to drawing with two fingers on the iPad takes a bit of practice as the tracing activity on the iPad can be sensitive. There are options to set up Chalk Walk for both righties and lefties.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A creative activity to get kids ready for writing. There are features to keep kids motivated, and the literacy elements are a nice addition, though they could use a little oomph.

Learning Approach

The thumb-and-index-finger grip can help kids develop motor skills both for writing and for working with a tablet in general, and the sensitivity of the screen requires kids to master it. 

Support

There is an illustration for what to do, but more details on using an iPad would help kids. Once kids complete all the rounds in a level, they can have the app connect their tracings and play it back as a continuous video.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn to hold a writing utensil properly and start writing. The thumb and index finger grip required makes kids approach their movements with more thought and purpose. This can help kids develop motor skills both for writing and for working with a tablet in general. Although the letters and words kids see while tracing are never labeled, kids are exposed to some literacy building content as well. While kids should still practice with real pencils, Chalk Walk provides an inventive way for kids to develop early writing skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

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What's it about?

In CHALK WALK, kids practice their “pincer” grip by tracing lines and squiggles with their thumb and forefinger pinched together. In each round, they trace a letter, and by the end of each level, they’ve spelled out words like "cakes" or "robot." Kids earn one to three stars for the accuracy of their tracing. Once kids complete all the rounds in the level, they can hit "video," and the app connects their tracings and plays it back as a continuous video. There is also a free play drawing mode.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Chalk Walk is a creative activity to get kids ready for writing, but it's no replacement for real paper and pencil practice. While many little kids can grip a crayon and scribble, gripping a pencil correctly requires refining their movements. The grip and movements in Chalk Walk don't directly mimic writing with paper and pencil, but the activities do require kids to hold a similar grip and to make more accurate movements.

There are features to keep kids motivated, and the literacy elements are a nice addition, though they could use a little oomph. While kids trace around letters and see the words spelled out, they are not labeled and nothing more happens to extend the literacy learning. 

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids transfer what they learn to paper. Engage them in writing and coloring activities with crayons, pencils, etc.

  • Practice the pincer grip with your kid, whether it be with the app, pencils, or even chopsticks!

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$2.99
Release date:July 12, 2012
Category:Educational Games
Size:32.10 MB
Publisher:KBooM Games
Version:1.4.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Chalk Walk was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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