Dora's Skywriting ABCs

Common Sense Media says

Slow-paced letter tracing app with a mild game element.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is intuitive and straightforward to play, and has plenty of instruction built in. Tapping the question mark at any time gives additional help. The game doesn't have any real navigation, however. Going through the entire alphabet in the game takes a long time, and it is impossible to skip to letters.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Large buttons on the main page advertise other Nickelodeon apps. Tapping on each one gives more information and the option to visit the app's page in the App Store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Release date:December 13, 2010
Category:Educational Games
Publisher:MTV Networks
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Dora's Skywriting ABCs was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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, okay 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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Kid, 6 years old June 17, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

iiiiiiiiii

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Adult Written byiPad-Preschool.com May 7, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

iPad-Preschool.com Review

When my preschooler saw Dora on my iPad list of available preschool apps, she could hardly contain her excitement. She wanted it badly, but I had reservations about buying the app at first. After all, Dora the Explorer is a marketing machine. She is inescapable — whether in the grocery, drug, or toy store — she is everywhere. Why would I want Nickelodeon’s cash cow residing on my iPad too? Maybe it was laziness. Perhaps ignorance. Or maybe just a mom wanting her kid to be happy. Whatever it was, I bought the app and my preschooler enjoyed it. See more at www.iPad-Preschool.com .
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