Writing is undoubtedly an essential skill for children to master. But before they learn to write, they need to develop pre-writing skills. These skills involve hand skills, which enable kids to hold and use a pencil, as well as hand-eye coordination and the ability to perceive letters.
Today, I’m going to share an app to help your child develop good pre-writing skills. Called Patchimals - First Lines, it’s an app that lets toddlers and preschoolers practice tracing lines and shapes.
Patchimals - First Lines offers six stages with five worksheets. For each worksheet, your kids will try to trace the given lines. You can start with any stage, but you can also follow the default order to learn progressively.
For example, the first stage will have your kids tracing vertical lines. In the second stage, horizontal lines. Later on, they’ll also learn to trace zigzag and curvy lines, as well as spirals and basic shapes like square and star.
At the beginning of the worksheet, help is provided in the form of an animated paw which demonstrates how to draw the line. One thing to remember is to keep the line within the perimeter. When the drawing is completed, the app will show colorful (and sometimes interactive) animations as a reward.
The more difficult the level, the smaller the perimeter and thus, the more precise your kids need to be in drawing the lines. There are three difficulty levels available for each stage: easy, medium, and hard. In hard mode, your kids will also be challenged to draw more than one line per worksheet.
Also included is a a free drawing stage. The drawing tools are very basic here, but it does a good job entertaining the kids on their break.
Parents Need to Know
While it is possible to use the app with just your fingers, I would highly recommend a stylus as it allows more precise lines. Using a stylus will also help train the muscles in their hand and make it easier to adjust to pencils later on. If you’re looking for a good stylus to use with your kids, I recommend the Cosmonaut as it is sturdy and shaped like a dry erase marker, making it easy to grip.
Patchimals - First Lines includes both audio and text guides to help your kids get started. It’s available in English and Spanish. The app doesn’t contain ads and in-app purchases.
Things I Like
Patchimals - First Lines app offers a stress-free workflow with no time limit and no scores. Kids can replay any stage they like, and take their time completing each worksheet. For additional activities outside the app, you can access the developer’s website to download free coloring pages and desktop backgrounds.
What makes the app fun is its presentation. When kids draw a line, they’re also helping a bee reach its hive or a fish reach its fish bowl.
Another thing I like about the app is it doesn’t interrupt kids with alerts when they make mistakes; instead, it softly tells them to try again. It also rewards kids with fun animations for a job well done, keeping them motivated to complete more worksheets.
Finally, I like that parents can choose the difficulty level manually to fit the child’s skills and progress. On the other hand, the app can also adjust the difficulty level automatically.
Patchimals - First Lines is a great app to teach toddlers and preschoolers pre-writing skills. Colorful animations entice kids to learn to draw straight, curvy, and zigzag lines, as well as spirals and basic shapes. It’s also intuitive to use and safe for kids.
App was provided for our honest review.