Writing Wizard - Kids Learn to Write Letters & Words

Common Sense Media says

Fantastic, customizable tracing practice with fun rewards.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to use. The parent section provides step-by-step instructions. Visual and audio prompts show and tell kids where to trace as well as the letter name and phonetic sound. Many settings let you customize letter size, model, and activity difficulty according to your child's current fine motor ability.

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

A small, child-locked "other apps" icon in the corner of the main screen leads to a page promoting the developer's other educational apps.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required to use this app. The developer's brief, very easy-to-read Privacy Policy indicates that it uses no data-collection tools. Kids' names can be entered as usernames, but that's optional (you can remain User 1), and names are only stored on the device.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that WRITING WIZARD - KIDS LEARN TO WRITE LETTERS & WORDS is a highly customizable app that helps kids practice tracing letters, numbers, and words while learning letter names and phonetic sounds. Audio and visual prompts show kids exactly where to trace from the start of the letter to the finish. The bright, animated graphics that accompany each tracing page are eye-catching and rewarding. Parents can use the multiple settings to adjust letter size, show or hide the letter model, and create their own words. This is a great app for kids who struggle with handwriting and visual spatial relations. It also benefits kids who need to hear the phonetic spelling of a word. There's also an optional five-star progressive tracing system that requires the user to trace each letter five times, increasing in difficulty. Detailed reports show parents how each kid is progressing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • writing

Skills

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • self-assessment
  • work to achieve goals

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Audio prompts and visual instructions -- like a friendly pointing hand, guiding arrows, and dots -- create a well-designed tracing experience. Amazing interactive graphics cinch continuous engagement.

Learning Approach

A thorough tutorial and numerous customizations help adults adapt tracing to each kid's current fine-motor skill ability. The 5 Star mode requires kids to trace each letter, number, or word five times with increasing difficulty.

Support

Step-by-step instructions during the process of tracing, multiple settings, and audio and visual cues offer excellent support. Writing Wizard also includes a supplement entitled "How Children Learn to Write and Read."

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • writing

Skills

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • self-assessment
  • work to achieve goals

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Word Wizard offers kids a fun, colorful way to practice early writing skills. Kids can practice tracing uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and words and can even create their own list words. As kids trace, they also hear each letter's name and its phonetic pronunciation. Kids can improve fine motor skills and practice following visual directions as they watch and follow the hand, dots, and arrows that guide them along the correct tracing path. Finally, kids can see how focused effort pays off when the fun and interactive visual rewards appear. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

First, tap the For Parents section on the main screen, then tap Settings and adjust according to your kid's current tracing skills. Next, select uppercase or lowercase letters, numbers, or words. Tap one and watch as a hand with a pointed finger writes the letter, number, or word and then shows you where to trace first. Red arrows and targets appear to show tracing direction, and sounds cue kids what to do next. You can tap, swipe, or tilt the device to play with the awesome animations.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Writing Wizard - Kids Learn to Write Letters & Words is an engaging writing-practice tool for beginners. It resolves tracing frustration and boredom with clear instructions followed by surprising, rewarding fun. Animated graphics -- from dancing cupcakes to rushing rainbows of stars, tiger faces, and bouncing hearts -- motivate kids to keep following the audio and visual prompts to trace each letter, number, and word properly to see what happens in the end. They also can play with the animations by swiping, tapping, or tilting the iPad.

The customization options help parents tailor the experience to a kid's current level and increase difficulty for more precision in tracing as they improve. Although the app doesn't directly evolve to include concrete writing skills such as using a pincer grip or holding a writing tool, tracing is an important beginning step. Writing Wizard provides well-designed, thoughtfully created tracing practice that includes some letter naming and phonetic sounds.

Families can talk about...

  • Use all the custom settings to adapt tracing to your kid's current fine motor skills.

  • As kids progress, create your own word list for them to trace. Kids love to trace the names of people they know and other words especially important to them!

  • Create a journal transfer book for kids to practice their handwriting using a pen and paper.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:August 8, 2013
Category:Education
Size:19.70 MB
Publisher:L'Escapadou
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later

This review of Writing Wizard - Kids Learn to Write Letters & Words 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; 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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byjennygt November 28, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Great app - skills and self-esteem reinforcement!

We got this app for my 5 year old who has grapho-motor skill development issues that are effecting her self esteem around early literacy. Taking the stress of holding a pencil out of the picture this app has reinforced her self-confidence in a fun and easy way. She now feels like she "knows" how to write and that holding a pencil is a minor obstacle that has nothing to do with how smart and capable she is. I couldn't have asked for more!
What other families should know
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