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Dora's Skywriting ABCs
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dora's Skywriting ABCs is an educational game that successfully mixes education and play. Dora, from Dora the Explorer, with her usual combination of English and Spanish, teaches kids to trace capital letters of the alphabet. Tico the Squirrel flies around in his plane writing the letters and drawing pictures in the sky. The sound of each new letter is said out loud as kids trace it. If kids draw too far outside the lines, the game will make a noise and have them retrace that portion of the letter. Next, kids play a tilting game to reveal something that starts with that letter. Then the game goes on to the next letter. Once you finish the letter Z, it starts again at A. Dora's Skywriting ABCs has fewer options than Letter Tracer Preschool Letters Writing Practice, but has more of a game element.
Is it any good?
DORA'S SKYWRITING ABCS is part letter tracing educational app, part game. The letter tracing portion is well-done -- kids get practice "writing" their letters as well as with sounds of letters. Both the letter names and sounds are reinforced often.
The tilting game in between the tracing portion seems like an afterthought. Tilting your device is hardly required, since the acorns bounce into place mostly on their own. The whole game is fairly repetitive and slow-moving. There are no controls in the game to allow you to skip ahead to another letter, or go back to an earlier letter. If kids want to trace the entire alphabet, it is time consuming. Only capital letters are represented. Also, some of the sounds for the letters seem off. P sounds like dropping a nut on the ground while Q sounds more like Qu.