iTrace—Handwriting for Kids is a brand new handwriting app that takes letter formation very seriously and has more than 25 levels of difficulty to support kids from writing in big shaky strokes to having the ability to manage a thin point stylus while forming letters on the iPad. There are five areas kids can freely move between in the app.
In the three letter and number books at the top of the home screen, kids get to choose the letters or numbers they want to practice. In the practice area, the app gives random letters and numbers for kids to practice. The practice routine is the same in all areas. The letter is modeled by the app, and then kids are supported through practicing each letter three times. We love that the app uses more than one repetition for practice.
When finished with the three formations, your child's writing is used to model the spelling of a vocabulary word. This word turns into a sticker prize that kids need to find in a quick seek-and-find game. There are more than 600 prizes in the app, which means a lot of letter sound and word relationships can be formed.
Back on the main screen, the Words book gives kids the option to work on spelling their names, words they have chosen, or thematic words from a variety of scenes. Start by tapping the settings button at the top. (Parents you'll need to do this with your child.) From this settings page you can take pictures and add the spellings of your child's favorite things. These pictures and words are used whenever your child goes to the "My Words" game.
In addition to adding and editing multiple players on the settings page, parents can choose between right- and left-handed formation and what kind of formation they want the app to reinforce. Parents will also find a detailed reporting page of the letters and errors their child has made.
There are hours of formation and writing fun in this app. The leveling is automated to add challenge when needed and adjust to easier formation to limit frustration. The settings page is truly outstanding. This is one of the only handwriting apps we've reviewed that gives parents the tools to choose how they want their child to learn to write.
iTrace—Handwriting for Kids is for ages 3 and up.
iTrace—Handwriting for Kids is compatible with the iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later.
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