A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Intro to Letters, by Montessorium is an educational app designed to help children recognize, pronounce, and write lowercase letters, capital letters, and phonograms (letter combinations that make a single sound). The app includes three types of activities: 1) plays a letter sound or name aloud as kids trace it, 2) plays a letter sound followed by the letter name, and 3) allows kids to record and listen to themselves saying a letter sound or name (requires a microphone). Each activity includes a short description of the intended goal from a Montessori perspective, which can be helpful for parents who want to reinforce the skills beyond the app.
What's it about?
Kids play with a digital version of sandpaper letters, a tool used for teaching early reading skills in Montessori settings. Activities include early literacy exercises designed to promote auditory, visual, and muscular memory. Kids trace letters with their fingers, hear letter sounds and letter names, and record themselves saying letter sounds and letter names. The app interactions feel like quiet, educational play with calm and clear narration, simple wooden letters, and no flashy animations or sounds.
Is it any good?
Intro to Letters, by Montessorium is a great looking, high quality educational app for toddlers and preschoolers. It's not a game, so kids may not beg to play with it, but it's colorful and interactive and makes excellent use of touch screen capabilities. Letter names and sounds are pronounced clearly, which is essential for learning apps. iPod Touch users should note that they'll need headphones with a built-in mic to be able to use that feature. The app is a bit pricey, but it's also well-designed.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, phonics, reading, writing
- Skills: Communication: listening, speaking
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
- Price: $4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: March 4, 2013
- Category: Education
- Size: 151.00 MB
- Publisher: Montessorium, LLC
- Version: 1.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later