Crabby Writer is a universal app from Mrs. Judd’s Games who also createdChalk Walk and Rhinomite. It was developed by a teacher and teaches early reading, writing and phonics for preschool through First Grade aged children.The app opens with a short clip of Crabby the hermit crab relaxing on the beach after building a sandcastle, when a ship comes along and creates a huge wave that washes his sandcastle away. Crabby is mad, but also asks for help in rebuilding his sandcastle. There is a parent’s section available from the home screen that has lots of information that is useful to read before starting to use the app.
To start using the app the student can choose from 3 options they can choose sailboats representing: 3 letter rhyming words, 4 letter rhyming words or words grouped by theme. Once they have selected their sailboat the game really begins. A tugboat floats across the screen pulling boats containing the letters from the target word and a picture representing the word. The word is spoken and spelled out.
Then the action moves to the beach where each letter in turn is created by colorful shell and pebbles. The student draws the letter by tracing it whilst holding their thumb and finger in a pincer grip, when they complete the letter it is pronounced phonetically. If they try to trace it just using one finger it won’t work, there needs to be 2 points of contact on the screen. This is very useful for reinforcing the pincer grip they need to hold a pen or pencil properly. My daughter has a lot of problems holding a pen correctly but once she was shown how to do the pincer grip for this exercise she is very happily doing a nice pincer grip here. If they need help know how to trace the letters the next shell or stone they should touch is larger than the rest and they can also touch Crabby for a diagram showing the correct letter stroke. Touching the? will remind them how to do the pincer grip. Whilst they are working on tracing the letters of the word, the target word remains on a bucket on the beach. When they complete the word Crabby throws shells in their bucket, and they see and hear the word again as the tugboats sail away.
With the shells they earn for completing words the students are working towards unlocking prizes. The app includes 16 different sandcastles, each in different architectural styles from around the world. One is unlocked to start with and they can unlock the rest by working their way through the app. Once they choose a sandcastle to decorate they have several choices- shells are available with all the letters of the alphabet and numbers so they can practice writing words or special numbers e.g. their phone no. There are also other fun decorations – some are unlocked, they can earn others by working in the app. Once they are happy with their sandcastle they can take a picture to save it in their scrapbook alongside pictures and names of the vocabulary words they have learned.
I have been using this app with my kindergarten student daughter and she really loves it. I showed her how to use it the first day, and she needed a little help with learning the pincer grip, but now she is doing great with it and is asking to do this every day. The graphics in the app are very bright, friendly and cheerful and engaging. Writing in the sand and the beachside theme are very engaging, and the reward system with earning shells and sandcastles to decorate is a great motivator. The one improvement I’d like to see is the addition of multiple player profiles – I have twins and can’t use it for her twin brother without erasing her progress, and other families with children close in age will have the same issue.
Overall, I highly recommend this app for working on early reading, writing, spelling, phonics and rhyming. I love the fact that as well as working on phonics and early literacy it also works on promoting a good pincer grip. They have made a great job of creating a fun and engaging app, to the extent that my daughter is choosing it over “play” apps at the moment.
Crabby Writer: Phonics Read & Writeby Mrs. Judd's Games, LLC
Category: Education, Games, Kids, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPad WiFi, iPadMini, iPadFourthGen, iPod Touch (3. Gen.), iPhone 4, iPadMini4G, iPad 2 3G, iPhone4S, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadThirdGen4G, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPadThirdGen, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPhone5
Size: 55.64 MB
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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