Creativity and beautiful artwork are combined in Art ABC, a new app for the iPhone and the iPad from OhFactory. For those parents who want their children (ages 3-7) to appreciate art, this latest Top Pick by Fun Educational Apps is a wonderful choice. Each letter is represented by a different work of art; for example, A is for the apples in “Landscape with Apple Tree,” by Levi Wells Prentice.
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The app is organized in alphabetical order with simple arrows for advancing through the letters. Each page displays the upper and lower case letter, the word chosen to represent the letter, the artwork, and a short phrase, (”M is for moon,” “R is for rose,” etc.) All of the paintings have that object featured prominently. What’s more, there is an interactive element on every page. The gray apples turn ruby red, the elephant trumpets and swishes its tail, the quill pen writes, and the horse whinnies and rears up.
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I liked the fact that this app celebrates the visual images it uses to teach the alphabet. My favorite paintings were “The Pink Candle,” by Henri Rousseau and “Lock and Key,” by John Frederick Peto. The artwork is displayed in full color, and there is a nice selection of periods and styles represented. On the title page, there is a small icon that leads to a description of all the paintings in the collection. The listing includes the name of the piece, the painter, the country of the painter’s birth, his/her lifespan, the type of medium used to create the painting, and the date it was finished. To me, this information adds significant value to the app; not only will children recognize their letters and words, they will be able to recognize works of great art.
Art ABC is a Top Pick because of its unique method of teaching the alphabet. If you are a discerning parent of a small child, and you wish to combine art appreciation with alphabet teaching, this is a perfect choice for you. I will mention that the narrator’s pronunciation is difficult to understand on a couple of the words, due to her accent. Also, there are a few technical glitches that need to be addressed. A musical feature, accessed from the title page, allows the child to tap a digital keyboard to play the Alphabet Song. Unfortunately, the sounds and the lighted keys are not synced correctly, so some of them play erratically. All told, these are minor inconveniences and do not affect the overall enjoyment of the app.
Art ABC is available for download via the ITunes App Store - Universal App
Julie P. - I am a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14. My iPad has become my favorite therapy tool. I am passionate about my work and my students, and I am excited about the possibilities for using technology in education.
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