By: Kati Berlin, MS OTR/L
I have LOVED the Letter School Block Letter, and the Letter School Cursive app for years. They now have a Letter School Shapes for Toddlers app! It has the same format as the original block letter app, but focuses on tracing shapes instead of letters and numbers. Sometimes it is very difficult to engage younger children in drawing and shape formation. The app is colorful and has fun sound effects that are really entertaining.
First, the expectation is to hit the correct buttons in order, then trace the shape, and finally draw the shape independently. The app does not require any language or reading skills to be successful which makes it more accessible to a variety of ages and levels of need. The app is recommended for toddlers but the prompts become increasingly more difficult; therefore, I would recommend it for ages 3 to 5 for typically developing children. This app could continue to be useful for a longer period of time for kids who have delays in visual motor integration and handwriting skills.
An additional way to increase the challenge, while working on pencil grasp, would be to use a stylus. A standard sized stylus would simulate using a pencil or marker, while a smaller stylus (about two inches) can help to work on using a tripod grasp. A tripod grasp typically develops around 42 months old, so using a standard sized stylus would be advisable to start. Like all activities using technology, make sure that you are balancing drawing practice by also using actual markers or crayons and paper! Using different mediums helps to provide various kinesthetic learning opportunities. Repetition is key for retention. Happy drawing!