Alpha Writer combines both free creation and word-building games for kids learning to read. There are four games to choose from on the home screen. The phonics and phonogram games give kids a word to build. The word is presented with a sticker-like picture. The word is also stated clearly, and the app sounds out the word slowly so that kids can hear all the sounds. Your job is to find and drag the correct letters to spell the word from the scrolling alphabet bar at the top. One really nice feature is that the app doesn't just work on letters A-Z but includes 17 of the most common letter and vowel pairs that make up individual sounds. If kids get stuck on one of the sounds, they can tap on the shadow boxes and the app will speak the sound kids need to find.
For more free play, jump into creating a storyboard. Kids get access to all the letters and pictures that are used in the first two activities. Create your own stories, practice spelling words, or pass notes back and forth.
There is also an Alpha Spy game. Three pictures are given and your child hears "I spy with my little eye something beginning with …" Your child's job is to tap the picture that starts with the given sound. This is a great game for playing away from the device, too.
We really like the storyboard feature. You see kids reading and writing, when encouraged to independently create on the screen. The app as a whole is lots of fun and encourages creativity while also helping children with the letters of the alphabet and vowel sounds.
Alpha Writer is for ages 4 and up.
Alpha Writer is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
You'll also find options to purchase artwork designed by two other artists in the app.
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