There’s An App For That

One of the things that Ayub loves is time with my iPad.  We have used it in a variety of ways since early on.

This was bedtime the first night Ayub was in our custody in Ethiopia. We read his bedtime story on the iPad. He learned to say “Hello, Everybody!” just like Grover.

Watching a movie during Sam’s baseball game…which allowed us to actually see the game.

Playing games while waiting for the doctor to take his mind off of the impending “ouch.”

Although it looks like we use it a lot, it is still a “special” thing that he doesn’t get to use all the time.  And since it is a good way to reach him, I’ve invested in quite a few educational apps.  I thought I’d share some of his favorites so that those of you coming home with older adopted kids might have an idea of what works and what’s a waste.  So, I’m going to try to review at least one educational app a week.  Not saying that I’ll be able to stick to that, but I’ll give it a shot.

First up…one of our favorites:

Dora ABCs Vol 1: Letters and Letter Sounds

Ayub knew Dora when he first arrived in the US…I’m guessing at one point they had seen the videos at Horizon House.  So, this was an instant hit and a good way to introduce him to the iPad touchscreen.  The app gives you a letter to draw and you trace it following the path of acorns.

This was great for Ayub, since his fine motor skills weren’t that great.  Holding a pencil was tough, but he could use his fingers to make letters here.  The program is fairly forgiving, so if he went outside the line a little, he could still be successful.  You can also choose uppercase, lowercase, or both.  Once you complete the letter, it gives you a “cloud” which is actually the shadow of something that begins with that letter.  You have to bounce acorns around the screen to complete the picture and guess what it is.  This is a nice change of pace from other programs where you only write or trace letters.  I think that is why he likes it better…in addition to tracing letters, you also get to play a little and guess what picture you are making.  We have tried other “writing” programs, but he always comes back to this one.  I’m not sure how much he relates the letters to the letter sounds, but I even without that piece I give it high marks for motor skills and letter recognition.

Dora ABCs Vol 1: Letters & Letter Sounds is currently $3.99.  Totally worth it.