Saturday, August 17, 2013

Top Handwriting Apps - Part 2 of 2


A recent discussion on our Facebook Fan Page revolved around handwriting apps.

Nina wrote: "I would love a handwriting app that requires use of a stylus or something! My autistic 10 year old struggles with practicing handwriting because he doesn't get the point. He is learning to keyboard. But handwriting is still part of his goals and IEP. He is an iPad junkie. I would like to find a good app that would bridge that motivation gap."

Tara responded: "I get my son to use a stylus when doing any of the handwriting apps."

Andrea suggested: "Try paint in a ziplock bag, and use a cotton bud as a stylus!"

Kate replied: "I started by getting my 5yo to play games with the stylus. So he was used to holding it and still having fun at the same time, then a few months later I started with the handwriting apps"

Tina commented: "I use goodnotes a lot with a stylus for taking notes. My favorite stylus is fat... Is an elago "rustic" with a replaceable tip."

Beck recommended: "consult with your OT because the wrist needs to remain up and off the screen to prevent interference yet is not a natural or optimal position for functional writing. Use of a cloth glove or sock can help."

Below is Part 2 of the list of apps that have been recommended by our community, in no particular order. Part 1 can be found here.


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Write My Name by NCSoft

From iTunes:
"Developed by experts and endorsed by parents and teachers, Write My Name is a fun way for children to practice writing letters, words, names and phrases. Write My Name supports children ages 4 through 6 to learn how to write their name, trace uppercase and lowercase letters, and write over 100 familiar sight/Dolch words. Write My Name meets some of the basic reading and writing Common Core State Standards for kindergarten such as the introduction and mastery of print and word recognition concepts."

If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($3.99, iPad Only)


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LetterSchool by Boreaal

From Melanie:
" I like LetterSchool because it scaffolds each letter, and when the letter is completed it becomes a cool visual like a train track or a lawn mower mows the letter. Only hitch is the 11 year old I teach has worked out that only some letters have the train which is his fave, not so keen to do other letters!"

From iTunes:
"Kids practice essential skills as they play four exciting games per letter/number:

INTRO - discover the letter’s shape, name and sound
TAP - learn where to start, change direction and finish by tapping the dots
TRACE - learn the letter trajectory by tracing it
WRITE - test your knowledge by writing from memory"


If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($2.99, iPad/iPhone)


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Crabby Writer: Phonics Read & Write by Mrs. Judd's Games, LLC

From iTunes:
"Our teacher-designed phonics and literacy game includes alphabet sounds (phonemes), rhyming words, themed words, spelling, proper letter formation, pincer-grip action, and a keep sake scrapbook designed to remind players of word meanings. It is fun to write in the sand, collect sea shells, and decorate sandcastles on our welcoming beach. Sand writing can now be at your child’s fingertips as we reinforce both phonics and rhyming structure. A literacy specialist who was among the first to try it out remarked, “What if learning to read had been this fun when we were young?” "

If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($2.99, iPad/iPhone)



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School Fonts - Learn to write (AU/NZ) by demografix

From iTunes:
"School Fonts allows the teacher or parent to prepare word lessons using written instructions, unique images and audio instructions, to which the student can respond using written and audio recordings. School Fonts maximises the flexibility for a teacher or parent who wants to create his or her own content. Unlimited activities can be created and customised to the individual levels of student learning needs. Activities include: spelling lists where the student writes the word and records audio of the spelling, Dolch sight words, circle the vowels, write the opposite and much more.

With tracing accuracy turned on to easy, medium or hard the students are rewarded with a half or full star depending on their accuracy. The default teacher tracings or your customisations of the teacher tracings are used as the basis for checking the students tracing accuracy. This allows for complete flexibility over stroke direction for left hand writers."


If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($2.99, iPhone/iPad 2x)


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rED Writing - Learn to Write by Rogue Mobile

From iTunes:
"The only app currently on itunes that teaches Children how to write letters and numbers using the Australian education approved fonts. Created and designed with input from Australian teachers and Occupational therapists specialised in early childhood education for children aged 3-7 years and most importantly of all we have taken feedback from the children themselves who are learning to read and write.

rED contains 8 X educational approved handwriting fonts used throughout Australian schools (QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, WA, SA and NT) to trace and learn. Your children will learn to write the same way they are taught at school."


If you would like to download this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button

($2.99, iPhone only, Australia store):


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Write the alphabet by Alexandre Minard

From iTunes:
"Through this application, kids will discover how to draw letter, and will be able to practice copying the letter's drawing. A letter drawing algorithm will indicate where mistakes were made and offer rewards if none were made (only on iPad). 2 additional mini games will extend kids experimentations with the alphabet while having fun."

If you would like to download this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($1.99, iPad/iPhone)


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Touch Follow Alphabet by Richard Hatch

From iTunes:
"There are 3 Apps in the series :

* Touch Follow Shapes
* Touch Follow Alphabet
* Touch Follow Numbers

Because it's aimed at younger children, the User Interface is deliberately simple, so they can play with minimal intervention. There's no menus or options. Use Settings to change options for playing sounds and/or the sparkle effect. "


If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($0.99, iPad/iPhone)


Touch Follow
(Free, iPad/iPhone)


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Handwriting Without Tears: Wet Dry Try + Live Insights by Handwriting Without Tears & Get Set for School

From Shanel:
"My boys hated writing but once we made it functional (writing their reinforcers) they don't mind writings anymore."

From iTunes:
"Wet-Dry-Try + Live Insights combines an app version of the popular Handwriting Without Tears® Slate Chalkboard activity with a comprehensive suite of web-based analytics tools called Live Insights™. Wet-Dry-Try + Live Insights users must log into the app using their Live Insights account credentials, which can be acquired from Handwriting Without Tears. More information is available at wetdrytry.com

The app allows each student in a classroom to sign in and practice their letters, while the app records their progress and errors. Via the Live Insights website, the instructor can access reports, view graphs, and analyze the data for each student individually or collectively as a class."


If you would like to download this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($6.99, iPad Only)



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Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development by BinaryLabs, Inc.

From Kathleen:
"We use Dexteria- it's AWESOME, has fine motor skill practice (no stylus- practicing pinching, strengths those muscles) and writing practice (can do with a stylus, we do) and the best part is it generates a report for you on their mastery."

From iTunes:
"Dexteria is a set of therapeutic hand exercises (not games) that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults. Dexteria’s unique hand and finger activities take full advantage of the multi-touch interface to help build strength, control, and dexterity.

For best therapeutic results the exercises should be done on a regular basis in short sessions. The exercises are designed to be repeatable and engaging, and when used on a regular basis will help fine motor skills improve over time.

The automatic tracking and reporting feature makes it easy for parents, teachers and occupational therapists to identify time on task and progress. You can email the progress reports right from the app itself."


If you would like to purchase this app, please support Smart Apps For Special Needs by clicking this button:

($3.99, iPad/iPhone)



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Cas recently demonstrated some handwriting apps to a mature age preprimary teacher who was suitably impressed at the quality and educational value of them. You *can* teach an old dog new tricks!

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