App-Zoo has created a series of apps, available in lite and for-pay versions, that provide instruction in letter tracing in large print and cursive . Versions for the iPad was released on November, 2010. One app in this series - ABC Tracer – Letters, Numbers, Words, Phonics - allows the user to trace words, and includes an ABC song. The apps incorporate animation, color-coded visual instruction about how to make correct strokes when writing, and feedback for both correct and incorrect tracing.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2.1 or later
An app developed by Montesori educators at Montessorium, Intro to Letters is based on the Montessori activity Sand Paper Letters. This approach relies on multisensory approaches (i.e., sight, sound, and touch) to teach letters. This app is designed to teach children to trace, read, write and record letter sounds, names, and phonograms, based on the proven methodology of Montessori.
As described by the developers, this app can be used to teach: letters from a-z; lowercase letter symbols and their sounds (phonics); phonograms – writing and pronunciation; capital letters – letter names, writing and pronunciation; consonants and vowels; and fine motor skills. The app allows children to record themselves as they say the letters of the alphabet. The app operates in two modes. The first allows the user to practice specific letters; the second isolates small groups of letters or phonograms.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Alpha Writer, an app developed by the Montessori educators at Montessorium, is based on the Montesorri Moveable Alphabet. The moveable alphabet was created for children who have the ability and interest to start writing and reading, but don’t quite have the fine motor skills needed to hold a pencil and draw the letters.
This app is designed to help children learn to read, write and spell phonetically to compose words and create stories. As described by the developers, writing comes before reading in a Montesorri instructional environment. This is because writing is the expression of one’s own thoughts, whereas in reading, the child must identify the letters placed in formation to decode a word of someone elses choosing. At this stage of development, Montessori believes that spelling is not essential. Thus, the app places an emphasis on the phonetic sounds used to build a word.
Created by Montesorium, a team of Montessori educators and parents, Intro to Math they describe this app as a fun and interactive first step into the world of mathematics. The app helps children develop basic math foundations; an understanding of numbers from 0-9; number symbols and their units; sequence, order, and spatial relationships; an understanding of odds and evens; problem-solving;; and fine motor skills.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later
This app, geared to very young users, contains over 300 signs that you access in an alphabetical list. It is available in a “lite” (i.e., free) version as well as a more complete version for purchase. An adult demonstrates the sign while verbally describing what one does to form the sign. The short video below demonstrates the features of this app.
Smart Hands is an approach that is used in classes that teach parents to communicate with their pre-verbal young children via sign. Two videos below demonstrate this use of the product.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later
Grasshopper Apps has created a library of educational apps designed to teach a variety of skills to young children. The developer describes them as easy to cutomize, allowing the adult to content of the app as well as the way in which the user physically interacts with it. A list of available apps can be found on the Grasshopper website, and reviews can be found on the iTunes Grasshopper apps page. Watch the video below to see one of the apps in the “I Like”book series.
The apps have been developed for use on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. See the individual app pages for specific requirements.
Touchy Books is a series of apps from Genera Kids . They describe their products as having “a big cup of creativity, a spoonful of adventures, and a touch of imagination. Click here to see the bookshelf of available titles, and a demo video of these interactive books. A number of videos of these products can be found on YouTube. Check the one out below, showing a 3 1/2 year old girl reading her favorite Touchy Book, The Goblin Forest.
Dream Cortex has developed a series of classical music apps, each featuring music of a single composer (e.g., Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Mozart). They are available in a lite (free) version as well as a low-cost version with additional features (more songs and backgrounds). The developer characterizes these products as early music appreciation activities, introducing classical music in a fun and interactive way. Click here to see some nice screen shots to get a better sense of this series of apps.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later