Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Devices Used: Samsung Galaxy On5
Platforms Available: Apple, Android
Developer: Fisher-Prince, Inc.
Created by the well-known and respected Fisher-Price company, Learning Letters Puppy is a fun way for young children to learn their ABC’s, numbers, and shapes in an interactive way. Upon first opening the app, parents can read a very helpful page of “Play Tips” to optimize the use of the app for their child’s development. On the main screen are four categories to choose from. First, the ABC portion takes the child through the alphabet one at a time with progressions occurring as the child taps the screen. Each letter is accompanied by a cute and moving animation that matches the letter. Second, the counting section features numbers 1-10, also progressing as the user taps the screen, and shows various quantities of objects to match the number. Third is a shapes and colors section, which first says the name of a shape (with an accompanying animation of a real-life object with that shape) and then declares its color. The final section includes several educational and entertaining songs reviewing the previous material, often sung by the puppy featured throughout the app.
This app is simple enough to be used by toddlers and is an excellent tool to learn and review the included concepts. The animations are eye-catching and can easily attract and keep the attention of the intended audience. The sing-a-long section could be improved by showing the words on the screen and also offering the ability to choose which song to listen to (as it stands, they simply go in order as the screen is touched). One of the best parts of the app, surprisingly, is the informational section for parents as it includes several developmentally sound principles: encourage exploration and discovery, reinforce practicing fine motor skills, use word descriptors, sing along to the songs, foster thinking skills, label objects on the screen, and give lots of praise. This encourages parents to use the app as a bonding tool as well instead of just handing the child the device and walking away. Overall this is an excellent app for toddlers and preschoolers.