Sunday, 10 February 2013

Reading Eggs Apps

As my daughter is enjoying the Reading Eggs site so much I was very keen to try some of their apps so we can have access when we are away from the internet. There are a variety of Reading Eggs apps, for different age ranges in both English and Maths. All are available on the iPad, but only Eggy Alphabet and Eggy Words are currently available on Android.

My daughter is 5 and in reception, so we chose those apps most appropriate for her age:

Eggy Alphabet

The appeal of the main Reading Eggs site - earning points as you play - is continued in this app. You are rewarded with 'Critters' for completing tasks, or for extra things like playing continuously for 10 minutes.

Each letter has four different tasks for both capital and lower case letters built around writing the letter and recognising it at the beginning of words. I like the introduction of some self assesment; the child can draw a letter, compare it to the correct version and choose whether they are happy with theirs or not. I thought my daughter would always say she had done well, but she was quite critical of her own work, trying so hard to get it right. It seemed to give her an extra sense of achievement when she decides she's done it right rather than the computer deciding for her.

This app is perfect for teaching her the right way to write letters, something she has struggled with.

I really like the fact that the voice commands can be set to have either and English, Australian or American accent as so many apps teaching reading are American, which means they aren't much use to us here in the UK. Having said that, it is extremely annoying that even in UK mode the letter Z is pronounced with the American "Zee" rather than our "Zed".

Hi Tap the Cat (who is Manda?)

Tap the Cat

In this app there are lots of different tasks, like rhyming, vocabulary, writing letters & colouring. Completing each activity builds up a jigsaw of an egg. Once the jigsaw is complete level 2 is unlocked. The app can be set up for 4 children, so each can work their way through at their own pace, building up their jigsaw as they go.
In the writing task, I like the fact that the arrows showing the correct way to draw the letter are just a tiny bit ahead of you. But there was a slight bug when drawing an i, even as adults we struggled to get the app to recognise we had drawn the dot on the i and move on to the next letter in a word. To get it to move on you have to draw a really big dot rather than just touch the page once. I've had to explain to my daughter that this isn't how you dot your i's.

Disclaimer: Reading Eggs gave me free access to these apps in order for me to write this review. The opinions, as always, are my own


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