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Review of Talking Shapes i Pad App

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Talking Fingers Review
Today I’m sharing a review of the company Talking Fingers, Inc. , and specifically the Talking Shapes iPad App. My 3-year-old, 5-year-old and I have been playing around with the Talking Shapes app for the last 6 weeks.

This app for i Pad is geared towards children in grades Pre K – K.  It is an educational app for helping young children to learn about the alphabet, to learn the sounds of the letters, to practice writing the letters, and to begin sounding out simple 3-letter words.

When you open the app you hear about “How Two Sisters Invented the Alphabet”.

Talking Fingers Review
You will get to choose between “Read to Me,” “Draw Letters,” and “Play Game.”  When you choose any of those, you’ll have an additional choice: Book 1, Book 2, or Book 3.

The books are neat because they are interactive.  They tell the story of how long ago two sisters were trying to write things down, so they decided to invent “letters.”  They decided to make each letter look like something that begins with that letter.  So, “A” looks like an acrobat, “B” looks like a butterfly, and “C” looks like a cat.  Each time a new letter is introduced, the story explains why the letter is being represented by that picture.  I love this because it will help the kids get this information into their right brains quicker.  They have more associations rather than just looking at a black-and-white plain “B” and learning that it is a “B.”  Then the letter sound is pronounced.  The kids are told to say the word: acrobat or butterfly or cat.  (I think this is hard for many 3-year-olds since very few of them have good pronunciation.  It rarely recognized my son when he said the word.  Thankfully, after the second attempt the app moves on.  It usually worked for my pronunciation, but not always.)

Then the next thing to do is practice writing the letter.  It is described for the child, and then they use their finger on the i Pad to trace the letter.  They don’t have to be perfect–just fill in the empty spaces.  This is good for those little ones who aren’t too good with fine motor skills yet.

The picture below shows a scene from Book 1:

Talking Fingers Review
The next picture shows the introduction to letter “C.”  The picture is of a cat which is curled like a “C.”  The child draws C on the cat and alone.  Up at the top you see a question mark, which parents can use to figure out what it supposed to be done next.  There is also a house, to take you to the home screen.  The bottom right hand corner has “next” and the left hand corner has “back.”
Talking Fingers Review
The next picture shows one of the games available to play.  The narrator reads the story and then tells the child to choose the right word from the balloon to fill in the blank.  She tells them which word to choose.  If the kids have read the stories and practiced some of the other games, this particular game isn’t quite as difficult as it seems.
Talking Fingers Review
In this next game the child drags the shape/letter down to the box at the bottom to spell the word.  The narrator pronounces the word to be spelled.
Talking Fingers Review
Overall, we liked Talking Shapes.  As I said above, I like how they relate a letter to a picture shape; it’s such a good way to teach phonics.  And it’s research-proven.  I also like the narrator.  She has very good diction and inflection.  My kids think she sounds like their grandma!  There were some things about the app that were too difficult for my 3-year-old.  He isn’t able to sound out 3-letter words yet.  But he could listen to the stories.  His favorite one was Book 3 where the pig dances a gig!  So, one of the great things about this app is that it can be used for various ages and educational levels.  My 5-year-old daughter, who is already reading, liked playing the games.  
The animation is good, and with the exception of understanding the kids speak the words, there weren’t any glitches that we noticed in the app.  We’ll be keeping it on our i Pad for the kids to continue learning from!
Here are the social media links for Talking Fingers:

Be sure to like them at Facebook.

And you can see the app in motion at the Talking Fingers You Tube Channel.

The price of the Talking Shapes app from the iTunes store is $5.99.

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