iWriteWords (Handwriting Game)
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that iWriteWords teaches kids how to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers up to 20, and simple words. If kids diverge from the tracing lines, the app requires them to start over. After tracing each item, kids flick or tilt the letters or numbers into a spinning vortex in a corner of the screen. Since the process of teaching kids to write uses a follow-the-numbered-dots approach, it helps if kids already know how to count and read numbers up to 10. There's also an ABC song that kids can play for a sing-along.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
Engagement, Approach, Support
Each time kids complete a word, they see a cute drawing and can tumble the letters into a hungry vortex where they disappear. However, the tasks don't increase in terms of challenge and may get repetitive over time.
Kids can use the Play button to reflect and make changes. If they can't count yet, younger kids might get confused by the numbered dots as well as by letters that appear out of order when they drop to the bottom of the screen.
There's a brief written tutorial in the app. Each time a player completes a word, you can hear the sound of children cheering. Settings can only be accessed from outside the app, under the iPad's Settings icon.
What's it about?
In IWRITEWORDS, kids drag Mr. Crab to trace letters and numbers, following the numbered dots. Kids can choose to work on only numbers, uppercase or lowercase letters, or short words. After tracing each item, kids have to flick or tilt the letters into a corner of the screen, where they fall into a vortex, adding a bit of fun. If kids go outside the tracing area, Mr. Crab will make kids start over again, ensuring that they trace correctly. When they've successfully completed the tracing, kids can see a replay of their writing.
Is it any good?
Dragging Mr. Crab across letters or numbers through iWrite Words' numbered dots can be an engaging way to learn the correct sequence. However, the shaking visuals and squeaky sounds that happen when you trace off-track might be discouraging for some kids. Each time kids complete a word, a cute drawing appears, and kids can choose to watch a replay of their tracing. Sweeping the letters into the spinning vortex can be fun, too, although this could be confusing as the letters can become transposed in the process.
Parents and kids can choose specific letters, numbers, and words to include, and they can change the size of the tracings with a simple swipe. Other customization options are hidden in the iPad's main settings page, not the app. Overall, some kids will find the app fun, but they might feel more accomplishment if the tasks got progressively more challenging.
Families can talk about...
Encourage your kids to add writing to their drawings. Help them label what they draw by spelling out the words for them if needed.
Watch your kids practice with the app to see what letters or numbers they have trouble with; help your kids practice the tricky ones using crayons or chalk.