Designed for children ages 2-5, Dexteria Jr. is focused on building children’s fine motor skills. The app is not flashy, nor does it contain a lot of graphics or sound effects. Instead, it focuses on three simple activities that help children pinch, trace and squish. However, the simplicity of the app does not mean it isn’t fun for children. They will enjoy spending time pinching peppers, tracing and erasing lines and squishing squash just as much they would enjoy playing a more involved app.
Dexteria Jr. teaches critical skills for children. It was designed with help from occupational therapists and can begin to prepare children for preschool and kindergarten. The automatically-generated progress reports help parents see how well their children are doing, without the children even knowing they are being monitored as they play.
- Automatically-generated reports
- Increasing in difficutly
- Three unique games
While Dexteria Jr. is a simple app, it does not mean that it does not feature graphics and sound or that the graphics and sound are of low-quality. This is a high-quality app, with very clear graphics and fun sound effects to motivate children as they play. The games in the app require an accurate response as children pinch, trace and squish and the app delivers with immediate feedback, making sure children’s finger movements are accurately interpreted.
The three skills tested in the app are skills that can be important for children to know when they reach preschool and kindergarten. For example, the Pinch the Pepper game helps children learn to pinch so that they will be better prepared to hold and write with a pencil. As they play all three games, children are encouraged to become faster, more accurate and perform the skill with greater frequency. However, the games do not dramatically improve children’s skills, they just help. After all, tracing and pinching on a tablet is much differently than using an actual pencil or crayon to perform a similar task.
While the app could provide more rewards and motivation for children, it is fairly entertaining. Children get sucked into the games and are ready to keep pinching peppers, tracing and erasing lines and squishing squash, improving as they play. The simplicity of the app means it will likely not hold a child’s attention for more than 10 minutes at a time, but the app developers note that to achieve the best results it should be played in short increments anyway.
If you consider the price of workbooks that cover the same skills, this app is an excellent value. In a workbook, once children write on a page, it is often rendered useless. With the app, children can complete the same activity over and over for less money than a traditional workbook designed to help build the same fine motor skills.
Accessing and figuring out how to play the games is fairly easy for children in the toddler and preschool age-range to do. It is, however, easy for children to veer away from the three games and click on both the options and reports buttons. From there, they may find themselves clicking on the button to e-mail a friend about the app or send a copy of the report. Parents should monitor children as they play the app to ensure that important contacts are not bothered by e-mails sent in error.
Get your hands and fingers ready and start improving your child’s fine motor skills with the three entertaining games found as part of this app.