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Forming Letters - Games / Apps?

(14 Posts)
DinoDad Wed 25-Oct-17 16:51:07

Hi All,

Apologies if this has been posted before, the only thing I could find was from way back in 2012!

We're looking for something to help our little one (aged 5!) with their letters whilst also keeping them entertained, does anyone have any recommendations? We have android and iOS if that makes any difference.

Willing to pick up a stylus too if anyone has any recommendations for them?

Thank you!

Norestformrz Wed 25-Oct-17 17:01:04

Best thing for letter formation is paper and pencil I’m afraid. Avoid tracing as this doesn’t teach correct order of moments for writing just how to “draw” the shape.

DinoDad Wed 25-Oct-17 18:11:06

Thanks for the reply, Norestformrz.

What do you mean by "doesn’t teach correct order of moments"? The ones I've downloaded so far show each stroke in the correct order as far as I can tell (if that's what you mean?)

I've tried "Hairy Letters" from the other thread, but she didn't seem to enjoy it very much.

I've just found once called "Alpha Zoo" and she is loving it. Great animals for each letter, funny poems and really nice animations. Best of all (for me) is that it's free! smile Hopefully it's something she'll want to keep going back to rather than just for today.

Can't help but think it would still be better with a stylus though rather than her finger, so if anyone has any recommendations for one to get/avoid, please let me know.

irvineoneohone Wed 25-Oct-17 18:42:51

When my ds was learning to write, he has done lots of writing outside on the pavement with chalk.

Norestformrz Wed 25-Oct-17 18:49:39

If you’re not observing it’s very easy for the child to start anywhere regardless of where the sheets say to start and finish and very difficult to see. So unless you plan to oversee all efforts I’d avoid.

Writing on a screen (even with a stylus) is very different to writing on paper with a pencil which is why many teachers avoid them.

irvineoneohone Wed 25-Oct-17 19:55:31

I do agree, you need to supervise if the child is practicing letter formation, and it's easy to see on the paper. (Or in my case, on the pavement.)

Seasonschaaaange Wed 25-Oct-17 19:59:14

The one my son uses is called magic letters but he has a kindle fire so I'm not sure if it will be on your platforms. It only gives them a tick if they start the letter at the right place and go the way you are meant to. It's a fun wee game that also teaches phonics by casting spells beginning with certain letters. That mixed with paper and pencil as others have suggested is working well for him. His teacher suggested we try some apps because his letters looked sloppy from not starting at the right place and now we definitely see an improvement.

holidayqueriwifi Wed 25-Oct-17 20:04:20

Hairy Letters is a good app

TheDuchessOfKidderminster Wed 25-Oct-17 20:56:10

Nothing wrong with using an app to practise letter formation, provided it’s to supplement and not replace paper & pencil activities - children often find these types of programs more enjoyable and motivating and they are therefore useful for parents to get children to do additional ‘work’ at home in a fun way.

There’s one called LetterSchool that’s free and that I really like the look of and will be downloading to use with my 5 year old DS - review in the link below.

TheDuchessOfKidderminster Wed 25-Oct-17 22:54:16

Actually it’s not free, but there is a free trial version so you can see if it’s any good before buying the full one. It’s not massively expensive but I’ll have a look at Alpha Zoo as an alternative as I do prefer free apps wherever possible.

poppoppophop Wed 25-Oct-17 23:46:19

My DC love all the Letterland apps. Letter formation but also stories / songs / videos / games to support phonics more generally.

DinoDad Thu 26-Oct-17 21:06:12


Yep, couldn't agree more. Apps aren't a replacement for traditional teaching methods, but they really help sometimes. The bit where they're learning without realising it is my favourite part smile

We've had requests for the "animal game" today so I think we're onto a winner!

Here's a review of the one we've ended up with (Alpha Zoo) in case anyone is looking for it:

viques Fri 27-Oct-17 21:18:26

Make sure you check that it is a script that ties in with the script that your child's school is using. There are subtle differences which actually make a huge difference and it is easier to learn rather than unlearn. also do lots of other eye hand coordination and muscle strengthening stuff with your child, eg bead threading, dot to dots, colouring , moving a pencil between parallel lines on a page etc. Handwriting is dependant on muscle knowledge,memory and strength.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:20:07

Made me smile as I know the creator of alpha zoo 😋

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