Have your kids ever had the urge to write with shaving cream? Ketchup? How about lemon gelatin, syrup or maybe pumpkin pie? No? Mine either but that might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never really given them the opportunity to do it. “Here’s a bowl of vanilla pudding, now go trace the alphabet,” isn’t something you’ll hear at my house. But now that I’ve found out about Touch and Write for the iPad all of that may change because with this app children CAN write with all of those things – and more – with zero mess! The app currently provides sixteen different textures to use for writing. The more traditional blue pen, chalk and pencil are included but it’s the thirteen unconventional (and very fun) other textures that stole the show for me.
Touch and Write includes alphabet word lists, high frequency word lists, the alphabet (upper and lowercase), and numbers. Parents can also add in individualized word lists. After children have decided what they are going to trace they can choose what they want to write with. This is where they’ll select the writing texture. They can also choose from 28 different writing papers. There are five that look like paper and the rest are crazy and wild. The crazy papers are fun but I found some of them a little distracting. Now it’s time to write! Using their finger children will follow the letter and word outlines and write on the screen. They’ll discover that the different textures look different and make unique sounds when they are writing. Children can trace on their own or there’s an option to turn on a guide that they can follow to form the letters. This shows up as cupcakes in the form of the letter and children follow the cupcakes while a monster eats them as their finger moves.
Touch and Write is one of the most fun writing apps I’ve seen to date. The unique writing textures make using the app a blast and I love how it combines sounds, “touch” and solid handwriting instruction. The developers say it “integrates visual, kinesthetic and simulated tactile modalities to enhance learning”. I just couldn’t think of the right way to say all that but it all ads up to make this an engaging and educational app in my book!
Price when Reviewed: $2.99
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.