Handwriting is a valuable life skill, and even though more and more of our days are spent typing away online, the fact remains that being able to communicate via paper and pen remains very important. In addition, when you, as an Occupational Therapist, teach children to write, you are also teaching them how to express themselves, and this makes handwriting fluency fundamental to their learning. Most children find apps appealing because they are fun to use. We at CMS Direct Hire would like to share with you 8 great Occupational Therapy apps for improving your patients’ handwriting skills:
- Wet Dry Try: Part of the Handwriting Without Tears ® curriculum, this app allows children to practice correct formation habits for writing capital letters, lowercase letters, and numbers on a virtual Slate Chalkboard. This app promotes good top-to-bottom, left-to-right handwriting and reading habits. A personal instructor coaches children through the formation steps and helps them fix mistakes.
- Dexteria: This app is for children or adults, and is a set of therapeutic hand exercises that are designed to improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness. Developing the musculature of the hands is of primary focus. All modes can be translated to off screen games to refine these skills with real life manipulatives. Data for accuracy and speed can be tracked.
- iTrace: This app lets children begin by tracing letters with their fingers, and then carries over to actual handwriting with a stylus. Therapists can set up this app for single or multiple users, and you can select among three different handwriting styles: Zaner-Bloser, Handwriting Without Tears, or D’Nealian. You can also choose left-handed orientation, writing cursive letters, or alternative letter formations.
- LetterSchool: This award-winning app teaches letter formation by having the child tap, trace, and then write each letter. LetterSchool covers upper and lowercase letters, and numbers from 1 to 10. The LetterSchool app allows you to choose D’Nealian, Handwriting Without Tears, or Zaner-Bloser letter formation. This app provides lots of auditory and visual feedback, and works on letter sounds too!
- iWriteWords: A nice app for younger writers, your patients will help Mr. Crab collect numbers in sequence by dragging him with their finger, drawing a letter at the same time. Your patients will think they’re playing a game, but with its 70 available words and 20 numbers, iWriteWords is really letting the children advance their basic word recognition and handwriting skills. This app can be used with a single student, or in a group setting.
- Writing Wizard: From pre-school through the elementary level, Writing Wizard helps children learn how to trace through a fun, motivational design. The app is fully customizable to suit every child’s needs, and lets you check their progress through a system of reports and profiles. Using animation and sound effects, Writing Wizard offers a lot of fun to keep children motivated. Therapists can even create their own word lists (and record audio for each word). This app encourages users to graduate to using a stylus as they progress.
- Ready to Print: Ready to Print was created by an experienced Occupational Therapist and teaches pre-writing skills. It features a huge variety of activities and levels to keep beginning printers engaged. It is designed to teach children the correct patterns for printing, and to avoid bad habits that are difficult to changes as they get older. Fun to use, children don’t even realize they are practicing important skills!
- Shelby’s Quest: Shelby’s Quest guides a child along a journey assisting Shelby the Dog as she helps her forest animal friends overcome their challenges. Created by an Occupational Therapist, this app gives children a fun way to practice the fine motor and visual perceptual skills of pinching, finger isolation, tracking and sorting, while allowing an OT the ability to store and track their progress. Children find this adorable story irresistible!
Those are our top picks for handwriting apps; hope you found this article helpful!
All our best from the team at CMS Direct Hire!
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309 East Morehead Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28202