Once upon a time, there was an adorable little crab. He lived in a beautiful sand castle by the sea. One day, he was relaxing on his chaise lounge and sipping his tropical umbrella drink when all of a sudden a rogue wave came from out of nowhere and destroyed his home and completely ruined his day! Now poor little Crabby Crab is forced to take refuge in a washed up seashell, holding a sign begging for help to rebuild his castle. Players of Crabby Writer must help this scowling little sea creature by reading and writing words to earn seashells that will unlock sandcastles to decorate for Crabby.

Players can select either 3 or 4 letter word groups to read. The word sets are grouped by either rhyme or theme. A fun little tugboat pulls the words onto the screen and a narrator reads each letter as it appears. Once the whole word is visible, the narrator reads the word out loud. The child then traces each letter of the word one at a time using a thumb and finger “pincer grip” similar to how you would hold a pencil. A wiggling seashell shows where to start tracing the letter and bubbles pop as the child draws their fingers over the lines. If the player needs a little hint, just have them touch Crabby in the bottom left corner and he provides an illustrated directional clue to help them.

Each time the player completes a word, sea shells are put into the sand bucket and once the bucket is full a new sandcastle is unlocked for the player to decorate for Crabby. The sandcastles can be decorated with everything from seashells to sand dollars as well as other treasures from the sea. There are also bottle caps with letters and numbers on them that the child can use to spell out words or even give Crabby his own address. The sand castle creations can be saved in a scrapbook so that your child can look back at their art work celebrate their creativity with you!

Crabby Writer was designed by a teacher who saw a need for an app that creates an opportunity to teach the basics of reading and writing in an entertaining way. The skills taught in this app coordinate with the U.S. Common Core Standards that public schools have adopted. It is a great way to introduce and reinforce important reading skills such as left to right word orientation and rhyming. The finger-thumb grip that the children use to trace the letters helps develop the hand muscles and fine motor skills that they will need for handwriting in school.

My first grader had a great time playing this app and quickly fell in love with this cute, crabby crab! She loved all of the sand castle design options and knowing she could unlock new ones to decorate for Crabby was a great motivator to keep her reading and learning. This app has fabulous illustrations and a great narrator. The sounds and characters are delightful and engaging. Crabby Writer is a wonderful way to learn and play and is a must-have for any mom with young children.

Price: $2.99

See the app in iTunes

Requirements:  Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Seller:  Mrs. Judd’s Games, LLC

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.

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