Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best apps for tracing letters.


The Appysmarts list of top writing apps for kids.
These apps will teach your child how to draw letters of the alphabet with visual tutorials and step-by-step instructions.
We included only the best and most educational kids apps featuring letter tracing activities.



You may also like our list of Best ABC apps

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School Writing – Learn to write and more.

School Writing – Learn to write and more.
by demografix pty ltd

Price: 4.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 100/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Teacher & parent tools, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: a set of activities for developing handwriting skills (tracing, writing). Built-in sets include: practice sets (shapes, prewriting exercises, dot-to-dot activities, mazes etc), numbers, lower case letters, upper case letters and words.

What you do with it: add student's profile, customize the settings, add your own material (optionally), practice with your child or student (or let them practice on their own), monitor the progress. The typical single activity consists of 'learning' (watching the correct pen strokes for each shape/number/letter), practicing on your own following the visual guides and replaying/reviewing the learned material.

For detailed info we highly recommend the demonstration videos on the producer's website.

What we liked:the concept, range of built-in material (from pre-writing exercises to whole words, from basic letter tracing to puzzle-like activities), number of exercises (plus the option to create your own exercises), the options for following and monitoring student's progress, high flexibility and configurability, very informative instructions and help files (including demonstration videos).

What we didn't like: only a teacher or parent can assess the quality of student's strokes (there is no automatic recognition of drawn shapes so even when you draw abstract lines instead of the proper ones you'll always be rewarded with 'your such a good learner' message. Some letters (e.g. in the 'words' set of exercises) are small and will difficult to trace with a finger. Navigation could be more intuitive in some cases (some exercises require you to press a button to see a picture or play audio instructions).

Bottom line: an excellent, very flexible tool for parents and teachers with loads of high-quality educational material already built-in.

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Tracing ABC - Learn To Write Alphabet, Numbers and first Words - English and Spanish Letter Worksheets

Tracing ABC - Learn To Write Alphabet, Numbers and first Words - English and Spanish Letter Worksheets
by Remarkable

Price: 1.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 98/100

version reviewed: 1.4.2

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction

What it is: an app for learning letters and numbers and writing practice (lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and shapes).

What you do with it: choose the letter (or number or shape), follow the visual guide and try to trace the letter correctly. After the letter is 'recognized' it is marked as 'complete', the letter's name is read out and a picture of an object whose name starts with this letter is displayed.

What we liked:the concept, overall 'look and feel' of the app, easy operation, easy navigation, good visual aids helping to trace the letters correctly. Two difficulty modes ('guided' with stricter guidance and freestyle). Two guidance (letter formation) options: intuitive (easier for some kids) and pedagogical (strict). Parental lock preventing children from accessing certain sections of the menu.

What we didn't like: no zooming option (it is a bit difficult to trace lowercase letters precisely on smaller screens). We would like to see more shapes in the 'shapes' set (there are only 5).

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Reading Raven HD

Reading Raven HD
by Early Ascent

Price: 3.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 93/100

version reviewed: 1.2.1

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Interaction, Language, Memory, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a pack of activities for strengthening early reading and writing skills.

What you do with it: the activities include: letter and word matching, letter tracing, letter recognition, word spelling, word grouping, reading aloud (using voice recording). Range, type and level of difficulty will depend on the chosen age settings (basic activities for ages 3+, medium difficulty for 4+, advanced for 5+ age group).

What we liked: the concept (combining learning with fun/game experience), the number of activities, the age level/difficulty settings, the range of learning material, excellent educational value, simple, non-distracting illustrations, audio instructions and clues, very good rewards system with stickers (related to the main educational activitie), information and help section for parents.

What we didn't like: you cannot choose a particular activity to practice it (only linear navigation). We wish there was more variety in the activities.

Bottom line: an excellent all-round package for developing and strengthening early literacy skills. Easy and fun to use. Well worth the price.

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VivaKids' ABC

VivaKids' ABC
by 1KStudios

Price: free
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May contain `more apps` links
iPad

Overall Score: 91/100

version reviewed: 1.0.2

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Music & art, Understanding of the world

What it is: interactive alphabet with animated stories illustrating letters.

What you do with it: choose a letter, touch it to see a short animated movie with the object (or objects) whose name starts with the letter. Practice tracing the letter with your finger.

What we liked: the concept, very easy operation, beautiful illustrations and movies.

What we didn't like: very little interaction (touching the movie just stops it). The tracing feature is very basic (e.g. there are no visual clues). We didn't like some of the movies (belching panda, skunk passing gas...). No phonics (could be added as an option). The price could be lower.

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Monkey Word School Adventure

Monkey Word School Adventure
by THUP games

Price: free
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iPhone

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 1.03

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: a pack of 6 activities for early reading and writing practice (mostly 3-5 letter words and basic sight words).

What you do with it: set up and (optionally) configure the account for a child (range of activities and difficulty level). The activities include: tracing letters (trace letters with your finger), rhyming maze (connect the words that rhyme), phonics bridge (find the missing sound in a word), spelling stone (drag letters to the correct place to spell a word), sight birds (collect the sight words on the screen), word wall (find hidden words). The difficulty level will be adjusted automatically as you progress. There is also a simple rewards system with stickers.

What we liked:the concept, good educational value, simple but engaging tasks, wide range of early-reading/writing topics (spelling, phonics,letters,tracing etc), lively graphics and animations, spoken instructions, visual hints, multiple user accounts with customization options, locked out 'parent menu'.

What we didn't like: the activities can get repetitive after some time. We wish there were more activities focusing on phonics.

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abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words

abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words
by Apps in My Pocket Ltd

Price: 6.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 2.0

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an app for teaching the basics of reading (phonics) and writing.

What you do with it: trace the letters with your finger and then put simple words together.

What we liked: the concept, visual clues for tracing, overall quality of this app. The solution for accessing Parentzone menu.

What we didn't like: some of the 'reward' pictures can be too abstract or too difficult for children. This app does not offer too much variety and the child can become quickly bored (we suggest parental assistance). We didn't like the navigation and sound quality could be a little better.

There is a free version of this app for evaluation purposes.

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ABC Day

ABC Day
by Hompimplay

Price: free
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.0.1

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Language
Video

What it is: alphabet, tracing and spelling practice.

What you do with it: 4 activities:

- alphabet flashcards (review the letters and names of animals starting with a particular letter)

- tracing practice with uppercase and lowercase letters

- spelling - find missing letters in the names of the 'alphabet' animals

- the alphabet song

What we liked: ease of use, simple illustrations and animations, no distracting elements, spoken instructions.

What we didn't like: not much variety in the activities. The spelling activity may be too difficult for the kids who have just learned the letter names (includes words like 'dragonfly' etc.).

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Tracing ABC - Android Version

Tracing ABC - Android Version
by Remarkable

Price: free
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Android

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.4.2

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction

What it is: an app for learning letters and numbers and writing practice (lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and shapes).

What you do with it: choose the letter (or number or shape), follow the visual guide and try to trace the letter correctly. After the letter is 'recognized' it is marked as 'complete', the letter's name is read out and a picture of an object whose name starts with this letter is displayed.

What we liked:the concept, overall 'look and feel' of the app, easy operation, easy navigation, good visual aids helping to trace the letters correctly. Two difficulty modes ('guided' with stricter guidance and freestyle). Two guidance (letter formation) options: intuitive (easier for some kids) and pedagogical (strict). Parental lock preventing children from accessing certain sections of the menu.

What we didn't like: no zooming option (it is a bit difficult to trace lowercase letters precisely on smaller screens). We would like to see more shapes in the 'shapes' set (there are only 5).

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Montessori Letter Sounds - Learn Phonics with Tam & Tao

Montessori Letter Sounds - Learn Phonics with Tam & Tao
by Les Trois Elles Interactive

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 86/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Teacher & parent tools, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: set of activities for teaching basic reading, spelling and writing skills.

What you do with it: the app contains 4 main activities:
The 'I spy' game: match an object whose name begins with the letter you hear.

The 'Letter Sounds' activity: listen to the letter sound then point to the correct letter.

The 'Mix and Match' activity: match the letter with the beginning sound of the object in the picture

The 'Sound it out' activity: drag the letters/letter sounds into the correct spaces to spell the word you hear.

The app also includes a 'toolbox': the Phonetic Alphabet, the Notebook and the Sandbox for tracing letters and the Image Box (for learning the names of the objects in the pictures).

What we liked: the concept, number and quality of the activities and their educational value, simple illustrations, spoken instructions, extra instructions for parents. The options for UK/US voices.

What we didn't like: Only for very patient children and parents. The navigation is not very intuitive and can be confusing for children (that's why we recommend parental assistance). The scoring system is difficult to understand (it's not clear what you get the marbles for and how many you need to unlock consecutive levels). At first we had problems with recognizing some of the objects in the pictures, we recommend playing with the Image Box activity first to familiarize your child with the objects and their names.

Bottom line: an excellent (if not the best) set of tools for patient parents for teaching basic reading, spelling and writing skills.

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Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!


ABC's are Fun

ABC's are Fun
by Manipal Digital Systems Pvt Lt...

Price: free
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 79/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Music & art, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: 4 sets of activities for learning the alphabet: animated flashcards with the letters of the alphabet, letter tracing, alphabet song and 2 minigames.

What you do with it: view the flashcards, touch the objects for short animations or interactions (e.g. P lets you play the piano). Trace lowercase and uppercase letters using a virtual chalkboard. Create your own version of the Alphabet Song by choosing a word representing every letter of the alphabet. Two minigames: listen to the name of the letter and point to the correct letter on the screen, or point to the picture with an object whose name begins with a particular letter sound.

What we liked: the concept, good range of activities, the interactive elements adding extra variety to the 'flashcards' activity. The app is easy to use, provides the user with extra audio and visual instructions and tips.

What we didn't like: doesn't distinguish clearly enough between letter names and letter sounds. We didn't find the graphics particularly lively and appealing. The idea behind creating your own alphabet song is very good but the resulting song sounds like a string of words connected together, not like a real song. The tracing activity is a bit limited when compared with standalone tracing apps (does not recognize letters, the letters may be are too small for some kids to trace properly).

Bottom line: a very solid all-around package for learning the letters of the alphabet.

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