Touch and Write

 

Learning(i)

Fun tracing practice with ketchup, cupcakes, monsters, more.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. Tap a "Quick Pick" button for letters, lowercase or uppercase alphabet words, and numbers; choose a word list; or input your own word list. The options menu for writing textures and writing paper appears down the left side of each letter and word screen, and the "P" icon enables users to switch between hearing letter names and phonetic sounds. During tracing, sometimes the app isn't quite as responsive as it could be.

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

The "info" icon on the main page leads both to instructions for this app and promotional information for other apps by the developer. Tapping on one of the other apps takes kids to the App Store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required to play Touch and Write. It's optional to enter an email address to send a copy of a player's progress report to a parent or teacher. The app's privacy policy is posted on the developer's website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Touch and Write is a letter-, number-, and word-tracing app that includes 16 fun "writing textures" -- ketchup, shaving cream, syrup, and more -- as well as 28 writing-paper styles for backgrounds. Kids can trace uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers and six word lists with high-frequency sight words, using texture and paper combinations such as red paint on zebra stripes or chalk on a chalkboard. Parents can create tracing word lists, too. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Skills

Self-Direction

  • effort

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Choosing from 16 fun, quirky writing textures and 28 writing-paper backgrounds makes Touch and Write lots of fun, and the monster-and-cupcake guides and rewards continue the interesting design throughout the tracing experience.

Learning Approach

Kids get useful letter-, number-, and word-tracing or individualized writing practice via custom word lists. The guides won't let kids trace too far outside the lines, as they respond to errors by deleting the tracing back to the last correct step.

Support

Touch and Write provides no data on letters, numbers, or words completed, time spent on the app, or common errors. There's a tutorial in the "info" section alongside promos for the developer's other apps.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Skills

Self-Direction

  • effort

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn how to trace uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and words (including personalized lists), as well as the sounds of the letter names and their phonetic pronunciations. A few of the pronunciations aren't as precise as they could be. As kids trace, they're developing their fine motor skills and academic habits. Touch and Write combines imaginative yet solid tracing practice and basic letter, number, and word learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Choose one of TOUCH AND WRITE's four main categories, or select a premade word list (or create your own) and tap Write. Select a texture and paper style, then begin to trace the letter. Follow the little green monster and cupcakes to begin tracing. If a kid veers off course, she'll hear a noise and the app will move the monster back to its original location. When kids finish tracing a letter, the app shows the completed letter above the textured version, says its name, and, if writing a word, pronounces the word. Then a cute, interactive reward screen appears. To increase the challenge, parents can tap the "P" option that changes letter pronunciations from names to sounds.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For reluctant tracers, the zany combinations of tracing syrup on waffles, pink frosting on zebra stripes, or chalk on a roadway filled with cars may make writing practice attractive. The four main categories -- uppercase and lowercase letters, names of animals in lowercase, names of animals in uppercase, and numbers -- provide a starting point, and after that users can add personalized word lists.

The monster-and-cupcakes guide can be helpful for kids to learn where to begin a letter and how to continue along the proper tracing path, and they can be omitted once a kid learns the formation for more challenging tracing practice. Certainly, the same sensorial effect as using shaving cream or sand in real life isn't achieved on this app, and the visuals can get very busy depending on the combination of writing texture and paper style kids choose. That's not a big drawback, though, because a non-texture version of the letter or word appears at the top of the screen for each one. Overall, Touch and Write offers visually unique tracing practice, especially for kids who need extra motivation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about fun ways to trace letters. Get some ideas from this app for real-life writing textures and write letters in ketchup, sand, and chalk.

  • For kids who aren't interested in tracing, create lists on Touch and Write from high-interest words, such as your kid's name and the names of other people and pets in your family.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 9, 2013
Category:Education
Size:47.60 MB
Publisher:FizzBrain
Version:3.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Touch and Write was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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; OK 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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