Touchtronic ABC’s: An App Review, by Lisa Mulvenna
I am always looking for a fun new way to promote early literacy and Touchtronic Letters is a great product. I picked my set of 26 lowercase letters up from Lakeshore Learning as I was setting up a recent program where kids and parents could come and play with recommended apps.
Touchtronic ABC’s is a free app for kids who are working with letters (ages 2-7) and uses the Touchtronic Letters. There are three games in this app that work with different levels of letter recognition. The games do require some fine motor skills as users need to find the correct letter to match to the screen.
Mystery Door is the easiest game and has the user put your letter in a window. When this happens, the door will open to show an item that matches that letter. For example, if you use an M, the door will open and you will see a monkey. You will also hear “M is for monkey.”
The second game is called Letter Bubbles is a little more difficult. You match letters to bubbles that carry different items. For example, if you see an apple in a bubble, you will put the A on the bubble to pop it. The narrator will also say “A is for apple.”
The third game, Word Machine, is for a little older user. The game has kids adding the last letter to three-letter words. Users are shown a picture as they hear the word spoken out loud. They are then asked to find the missing letter. In this case, I heard “fox” as I saw the fox and was asked to find the O to complete the word.
From a public library perspective, I would either circulate the letters as a kit where customers can download the free apps to go with them or use them in a program where kids or parents get to try out apps. They would also make a good early literacy station if you had a way to monitor the letters so they didn’t disappear.
Lisa Mulvenna is the Head of Youth/YA Services for the Clinton-Macomb Public Library and one of the three co-founders of MiKidLib. You can also find her blogging at http://www.lisaslibraryland.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @lmulvenna.~*~ Little eLit is a collaborative think tank of professionals thinking about the topic of young children, new media, and libraries. Individuals who share their viewpoints, experiences, and presentations in Little eLit blog posts are expressing their personal views and do not represent Little eLit as a whole.