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Handwriting Apps

 ABC Tracer - Letters, Numbers, Words, Phonics (by: App Zoo)
Price (as of 12/5/11): $1.99

This ABC tracer lets kids trace upper and lower case letters and numbers 1-20. Kids watch an animation of the letter formation before trying on their own. When they are "on track," their marks are green. When they go off the dotted lines or start in the wrong place, the marks are red. Once the letter is drawn correctly, they are rewarded with an animation.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 ABC Phonics Animals (by: Brain Counts)
Price (as of 15/5/11): Free

Students touch a picture of an animal and practice writing the name of the animal or the letter the animal name starts with. The free version has at least one animal for each letter a-z.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation (lower case letters)
  • Reading (animal names)
 Alphabet Tracing (by: Natenai Ariyatrakool)
Price: (as of 12/5/11): Free

Practice tracing upper and lower case letters and numbers 1-9. Each letter or number has an animation that draws the letter first. Students can trace over a solid or dotted line to form the letter on their own. Students can also trace along with the animation. In the full version, you can make your own tracing sheets of upper and lower case letters, numbers, words, or names. Tracing sheets can be saved as a pdf and opened in another app such as Noatbility.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation (upper and lower case letters and numbers)
 Dexteria (by: Binary Labs)
Price (as of 12/5/11): $4.99

This app consists of 3 "games" to improve fine motor skills. The first is "Tap it." Students work on finger isolation by tapping the screen with one finger in the indicated spot. In "Pinch it," students use their thumb and index finger to pinch crabs. In "Write it," students practice tracing upper and lower case letters and numbers.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
  • Finger isolation
  • Visual tracking
  • Pinching (pre-pencil grip development)
 Dexteria Jr. (by; Binary Labs)
Price (as of 4/23/13): $2.99

This app is similar to Dexteria, but is for younger children. The app consists of three mini games to help kids with prewriting skills. In Squish the Squash kids work on finger isolation and visual tracking to touch and squish objects. In Pinch the Pepper, kids work on developing pinch grip by using their thumb and index finger to pinch objects. In Trace and Erase kids work on tracing lines.

Functional Skills
  • Handwriting and letter formation
  • Finger isolation
  • Visual tracking
  • Pinching (pre-pencil grip development)
 Educreations
Price (as of 3/8/12): Free

In this app you are able to draw or write on the screen and the app records everything you draw and say. I use it with kids to practice tracing and writing their names, letters, or other words. You can write on a blank screen, or you can upload a picture (such as a picture of lined writing paper). A lot of kids like to watch the play back. I watch the play back to remember how the kids were actually forming their letters and to see which letters were the most difficult. With older students, I've also used the play back as a learning experience asking them to identify how they formed letters well or how they could improve.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 FingerChat (by: Anyyouon Corp)
Price (as of 9/12/12): $0.99

This app allows two ipads to connect to each other so that you can "chat" by writing back and forth. I haven't used it yet because I don't have it on two ipads yet, but my idea is that I could have on ipad in front of me so that I can write letters or words and another ipad in front of a student so he or she can copy what I write.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 iTrace (by: elately)
Price (as of 4/23/13): $3.99

This is a handwriting tracing app that allows students to trace numbers and upper and lower case letters. You can also enter the names of your students and words you would like them to practice tracing. One wonderful thing about the app is that it stores information for each student so it is possible to look back and see progression. The tracing also gets progressively harder as students get better.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
iWriteWords (by: gdiplus)
Price (as of 5/15/12): $1.99

This is a cute handwriting game that works well with younger elementary students. Students can trace upper and lower case letters and numbers. There is also an option to trace site words. One nice feature of this app is that you can easily adjust the size of the letters to make it more or less challenging.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 Letter of the Day (by: Lakeshore)
Price (as of 12/5/11): $1.99

For each letter there is a silly, but catchy, chant, quiz, and the opportunity to practice writing that letter (both in upper and lower case).

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
  • Reading and letter sounds
 Letter School (by: Borreaal)
Price (as of 3/8/12): $2.99

This is a fun app to practice letter and number formation. You practice writing each letter three times. The first time, you have to touch where you would start writing each stroke of the letter. Then you watch an animation of the letter being formed. Next, you trace the letter (again followed by an animation). Finally, you draw the letter on your own without visual cues. If you have difficulty forming the letter, you are giving gradually increasing prompts until you are able to get it.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 Notability (by: Ginger Labs)
Price (as of 8/27/12): $0.99

I /love this app. I use if for myself and with some kids. It is essentially a notebook where you can write and type notes (either on the screen keyboard, your finger, or a stylus). I like using it for handwriting practice with kids because when using your finger or stylus to write you can set an area on the page that is not sensitive to touch, which is extremely helpful because kids can rest their hand on the screen as they would with paper. You can choose paper type (plain, lined, or grid). You can also open a pdf in Notability. So, you can download a pdf of a worksheet and fill it in by writing or typing on screen. What I don't like is when you erase, it erases an entire stroke rather than a small section of it.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting, letterformation, copying/tracing/drawing, etc
 Ready to Print (by Essare LLC)
Price (as of 5/16/12): $9.99

This is a great app for handwriting skills. It has several mini games for kids to work on finger isolation, ordered touch, tracing, connecting dots, pinching, and finally writing letters. It is possible to track data for specific students using the app. The app allows you to practice writing both upper and lower case letters. I like that it is not so 'elementary.' I can use it with older kids and they don't think it's too childish.

Functional Skills:
  • Finger Isolation
  • Ordered Touch
  • Tracing
  • Connecting Dots
  • Copying Basic Shapes
  • Letter Formation
 Shelby's Quest (by: Doodle Therapy)
Price (as of 4/23/13): $4.99

Shelby's Quest was developed by an OT who works with children. The app consists of three mini games to work on fine motor skills. Students are able to work on tracing by moving fish through streams. Practice pinching by putting different colored acorns into baskets. Students can also work on tracing shapes in the mud!

Functional Skills
  • Finger isolation
  • Pinching
  • Sorting colors
  • Tracing shapes
 Touch and Write (by: Fizzbrain)
Price (as of 4/23/13):

Touch Write is a fun handwriting app that allows students to trace letters and numbers using different substances (shaving cream, ketchup, jelly, etc.). You can also set up custom word lists so kids can practice writing their names or spelling words.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
 Wet Dry Try (by: No Tears Learning, Inc)
Price (as of 9/12/12): $4.99

This handwriting app uses the Handwriting Without Tears approach to teach handwriting. You can practice writing upper case letters and numbers using the Handwriting Without Tears chalkboard. You can choose which letters to practice or follow the developmental order of HWT. I have kids use the 'chalkboard' on the screen and an actual chalkboard to practice writing letters.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting
 Write My Name (by: Injini)
Price (as of 8/27/12): $3.99

In this app you can create a name tag for at least 18 kids (I haven't tried to do more). When you go into the name tag, you are given an outline of the child's name to trace. It also gives some visual cues to help kids form the letters correctly. When you write a letter, it also speaks the name of the letter. When you finish, it speaks the name of the child (which you have to record when you set up the name tags). There are also sections to practice writing upper and lower case letters and site words.

Functional Skills:
  • Handwriting and letter formation
  • Letter identification
  • Reading/site words