Hairy Letters

A fantastic British app to teach letter names, sounds and onscreen writing skills.

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Parents

What is it

This British English app teaches the names and sounds of each letter as well as learning to trace each letter onscreen with your finger. Includes games to teach blending letter sounds into words and both upper and lower case letters. This app won an Education Resources Award in 2011.

What our team of testers said

"It makes a great noise when I get it wrong" - Girl aged 3

"Ssss Snake - play it again" - Boy aged 3

Skills Developed

  • Teaches letter sounds & names in a fun and engaging way
  • Helps children learn to write letters (albeit with their finger)
  • Learn to build simple words with phonics

What our experts think

This is a fantastic app for teaching children letter sounds and shapes, basic writing skills (albeit with a finger rather than a pen) and simple words. The hairies and animations with each letter keep it entertaining and so keep children engaged for longer. Our little testers particularly liked the snake animation for ‘s’ and the noise it makes when they failed to trace the letter correctly with their finger. The word spelling games do not criticise when children try the wrong letter which encourages learning through trial and error. Grouping the letters into 6 colour groups is also a good technique to teach the letters in manageable sets.

It would be even better if...

– the ? and i information was protected from access by children by a parent ‘gate’ or child lock.
– the app linked to the next letter once one was viewed (rather than having to go back by pressing abc)
– if a digital pen was suggested by the app to allow children to try writing letters on screen with a pen

Features

  • Brands: Nessy
  • Key Features:
    • British English
    • Made in the UK
    • No 3rd party adverts
    • No internet access required for core features
  • Child Restrictions: No - all links unrestricted
  • Languages available: British English
  • Appropriate child restricted areas? No - all links unrestricted
  • Apple version: iPhone, iPod Touch
    Requires iOS 3.0 or later
  • App Types: Educational Apps
  • Types of skills developed: English
    Learning to read
    Learning to write
    Literacy
    Phonics
    Speech, language and communication skills

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