Come play in the sand! Have fun writing in the sand to spell three and four letter words or build sandcastles – no need to worry about sunburn.
Kids can have fun at the beach while learning the proper strokes to writing the letters needed to spell simple three or four letter words, build sandcastles and savor the memories in their very own scrapbook.
One of the neatest things about this app, and what sets it apart from other tracing apps, is the “thumb & finger tracing” technique. This technique is very helpful for beginning writers learn the pincer grip needed when using a pencil at school or home.
- Fun at the beach – no sunburn concerns
- Proper letter stroke exercises
- Pinch-grip two finger letter tracing
- Spelling three and four letter words
- Decorate a sand castle
The design quality on the iPad is excellent, but the interface on a device with a smaller screen needs a few enhancements. Our star rating for Quality reflects the two devices combined.
The bold colors, fantastic graphics, cheery music and object appropriate sounds make this app delightful. Crabby the Crab is adorable! The app interface is easy to use for kids and adults. A Parents and Teachers section is available to provide guidance on use of the app, how to extend the learning, Common Core Standards included and more.
Numerous educational objectives are included as is a large quantity of content.
Settings to mute sound and music or reset the game are available.
Being this is a universal app I was curious how an app like this would also work and look on the smaller screen of an iPod touch. There are some minor issues with not all of the text appearing correctly on the smaller screen size; in the Parents section, about half of the information is missing and, not all words fit nicely on the sand pail or on the photos in the scrapbook. Writing the letter strokes was a little different, too, which I expected for my adult-sized fingers. They were not able to do the pincer grip style action; however, tracing with one finger did work just fine.
One feature that would be a bonus to families and classrooms would be the addition of multiple user profiles that are created, maintained and deleted all from within the app.
The app does not contain a formal progress tracking feature, but parents or teachers can see which words have been completed by viewing the user’s scrapbook.
Spelling and writing exercises:Three spelling options are available; choose to spell three or four letter words, or one option that combines both. Uppercase letters are used in all exercises, activities and scrapbook.
In the three and four letter word exercises, words are grouped by their ending sound; such as OT, AT and AN. Each group is made up of five words. A break is offered at the end of each group or the user can continue onto the next set. The three and four letter word exercises currently contain five different sets; that’s 25 words for each exercise; twenty five words are used in the mixed exercise. The exercises can be repeated as many times as the user desires.
How do the exercises work? The user is introduced to the word as a tug boat tows the letters and a picture of the object onto the screen. The word is spoken and the user will hear a sound associated with the object. Each letter is spoken as the word is spelled. Each letter (one at a time) washes up on shore and is then traced in the sand using the proper strokes. The user will hear the letter sound as it is traced. The word is then repeated after all of the letters have been traced. Fantastic!! I really liked the presentation of the words, letter names and sounds, and the association of an object and its sound to go with each word.
The letter strokes are pretty intuitive thanks to aids built in, but if you would like another visual, touch the crab to have him provide stroke instructions. Kids will use their pincer grip when making the letter strokes. Proper strokes are enforced.
Words appear in the sand pail if you have forgotten which word you are working on.
All words are in uppercase during exercises
Earn sandcastles and objects to decorate with by performing the exercises. One castle, the alphabet and some additional objects are unlocked to start with, but more can be unlocked.
Photos can be saved in the device photos and a picture will appear in the scrapbook.
Words are grouped similar to how they are in the spelling and writing exercises. Pictures of sandcastles are included in the scrapbook also.
Kids will find the exercises entertaining and thanks to the break offered after every set the app should keep their focus for quite a while. They will have fun decorating their sandcastles
The great design, educational learning objectives and activities included make this app a must have for kids ages 3 through 8.
Crabby Writer has been designed for preschool through first grade aged kids. With a little assistance the first time through kids will be able to pick up quickly what is expected of them.
Kudos to the developer for making this educational app child-safe! The app does not contain social media, external links, in-app purchases or ads.