Tickle Letters (Learn Alphabet US)
A game that encourages younger children to learn and recognise the letters of the alphabet. Through interacting with the letters young children will become more proficient in knowing their alphabet setting them on the way to become readers and writers. The app also has the ability to recognise those letters that are the user is struggling with so offers them at a higher frequency and so helping to teach effectiveness throughout.
This is a good app that aims to help the very youngest of children, beginning their journey into reading and writing, to become proficient in the building blocks of the English language through learning the alphabet. This is done through a fun way with the user engaging with each letter in a hands-on way and being rewarded throughout when they correctly complete certain aspects. It is a fun enjoyable app that children will certainly enjoy playing on.
Upon opening the app the user is introduced to the first set of letters that they are going to learning. This is done through a narration telling us the letter and the letter appearing on the screen. Once the user has seen the letters they are going to be working with the screen then move to the main game play area. 7 letters appear on the screen, some may be duplicates, and it is down to the user to listen to the instructions from the narrator before tickling (rubbing their finger over) the letter. If they correctly do this the game rewards them with gifts and also puzzle pieces, the narrator also reinforces the correct answer with positive verbal recognition. The aim is to work through each of the letters, following the instructions until each of the letters disappear. Once this has happened the game moves on to introduce the next set of letters for the user to learn and work through. However, one of the best features on the app is the algorithm that recognises the letters the user is struggling with and makes sure these are replayed through the app meaning the user comes across them at a higher frequency and thus has more opportunity to learn them successfully. The look of the app isn’t quite as slick as some others with the visuals seeming a little simple in their designs. However, this doesn’t detract too much from the gameplay. The sounds and the narration also fit well and again do detract from the game play.
Although the premise is quite simple there are small features which really add value to the app. For instance with each correct answer the user gains puzzle pieces. Once they have collected enough puzzle pieces they unlock one of the many puzzles available. The puzzles can they be accessed, outside of the main content, for the user to enjoy putting together. This then encourages the user to keep coming back to the app so they can unlock as many of the puzzles as possible. As well as puzzle pieces for a correct answer the user also receives gifts in the form of trains, teddy bears and bars of soap. If you receive a bar of soap the user can use this to make bubbles across the screen and if they get a teddy or train they can give these to the two balls on the screen which suddenly expand and bounce across the screen. Again, these small elements are there to keep the interest of the user and also to add some challenge and gamification into the app too.
There are a number of options that the user can access from the home screen too and these again add further value to the app. In the options menu you can change user, contact the developer and rate the app, things you would expect but you can also set time limits to make sure that a user does not spend too much time on the app i.e. before bed. You can also download a progress report as well as a diploma for the user on how well they have done. With the diploma you can add the users name to this and download the whole thing to award the student. This can be done as a pdf so can be used both at home and in an education setting. The user report gives each of the letters and then a percentage indicator based on how well they have done. This is a good way of tracking how well a user is doing within the app and would be beneficial in both a home an educational setting.
The app certainly has a number of good features that help it to not only keep users engaged but also in fulfilling its aim of introducing and helping young children become proficient in learning the alphabet and overall is a good app for both the classroom and at home.
From the Developer
- not boring & children love it (happy, fun, laughing, many rewards)
- special statistic algorithm for increasing efficiency to learn alphabet
- letters tickling (small and big letters)
- diplomas to print with name of your child
- timer (child can not play after the time you set)