What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that if you're interested in having your child play Pre-K Letters and Numbers it's a better experience to pay the $1.99 for the upgraded version reviewed here. The free app doesn't have the Report Card feature or all of the letters and numbers (with even fewer letters and numbers free on the iPhone version than the iPad version). Kids need a steady hand to trace uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers 0-9. If other fingers touch the corner of the screen or the tracing finger is picked up too early, kids will have to repeat the step until it's right. The online Report Card offers success rate percentages, specific problem spots, and more.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
- writing clearly
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
Straightforward tracing app is more practical than entertaining. Still, bright pictures pop up when kids trace correctly.
Hands-on tracing can lead to success or frustrating errors. Competition seems a bit much for this age level. Baked-in lessons in following directions.
When kids complete a letter or a number, they're encouraged by a cheer and see a related picture. A Report Card gives feedback.
What's it about?
A simple menu screen allows kids to select capital or lowercase letters, numbers, or letter combos (sh, er, etc.). A large letter appears with numbered steps to trace it. Kids follow the numbers to make a first line, then follow the numbers again if there are more steps. Stray from a numbered path and you'll need to try again. When kids complete a letter or number they are encouraged by a cheer, and see a related picture. A parent "Report Card" gives stats on kids' performance.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for something pretty straightforward for tracing practice, PRE-K LETTERS AND NUMBERS is it, as long as kids do a little troubleshooting in the beginning. It can be frustrating when a rogue pinkie knuckle or stray fingers touch the screen because it immediately registers as an error. And there are no extra hints, directional arrows, or tracing examples given when the errors continue. You're allowed to skip to the next one, but it's sure to show up on the Report Card feature.
It's great that this app lets you register more than one kid for a Report Card, but with all the percentages and stats and those nagging comparisons between your 4-year-old and others it seems like a little much for the age. The stat phobic can skip down to the "Problem Spots," however, make a mental note, and continue to practice whenever the mood strikes, on the back of grocery lists, or in chalk next to the sidewalk hopscotch.
Families can talk about...
Take note of "trouble spots" from the Report Card feature and practice whenever the mood strikes: on the back of grocery lists, with sidewalk chalk, etc.
Tracing practice is even more fun with an old cookie sheet and a big glob of finger paint.