When Hasbro announced its first educational app with Play-Doh, we were very curious to see how it would adapt such a symbol of creative play into an ABC app. Although PLAY-DOH Create ABCs is featured as the number one New and Noteworthy app in the UK App Store, we were a bit disappointed with the result...
Two years ago, we may have agreed with the App Store's opinion and probably featured it amongst our top picks, but the market has changed! It offers great academic features, where your kids learn their ABC the fun way, but is not unique and innovative as we would have expected. To be honest, if it did not have the back up name of Play Doh, it would probably just be another ABC app. What the app offers.....
PLAY-DOH Create ABCs is designed to help and support kids in letter tracing via 3 interactive activities:
WRITE AND CRAFT!
Kids learn how to trace letters using ‘virtual’ PLAY-DOH” and follow directions. There is only guided tracing. For each letter kids learn some vocabulary associated with the letter. After each letter kids can create a ‘virtual’ PLAY-DOH treat by dragging each component to the right place. Each item can be customized by changing the colors.
CREATE AND SHARE!
Build your own PLAY-DOH scenes. Select a background and drag object to customize. Save your creations on your smart phone or touchscreen and share them with others!
A simple matching game where kids drag the matching letters to the object that start with the same sound.
In our view, Play Doh is the reference when it comes to creative play for the little ones. As parents, we can all remember those messy, but fun and creative play times. Learning how to draw letters with Play Doh sounded like a very cool opportunity to continue fun learning via the interactive interface of the iPad. We were expecting a lot of use of the creative play associated with Play Doh ... But it is just another ABC learning app where kids are guided all the time. When tracing letters they need to listen to the instructions and follow the lines exactly. Not much of learning by trial and error. The “Create and Share” section just allows kids to place and resize items on a back ground, it would have been nice to have a free draw section to encourage kids to trace and draw letters on their own. The educational part is great but we would have liked to see a more intuitive interface with less guidance where kids can learn and express their inner creativity at the same time.
PLAY-DOH Create ABCs falls into a highly competitive app segment, there are 100's of apps to learn how to write ABC on the App Store with some very innovative, intuitive and creative apps by indie developers such as Montessori Letter Sounds by Les Trois Elles Interactive or Touch and Write by Fizzbrain. You might think we are too critical, but any new ABC app, especailly those with big budget such as Hasbro, has to be incredibly innovative to impress us. We expected more from a stable such as Play-Doh!
Did you try PlayDoh yet .... What do you think?
PLAY-DOH Create ABCs is available for download via the iTunes App Store - Universal App
Note for Parents:
At the time we review - Creation can be saved in your photo album but not shared from within the app. This app offer external links via the protected parent section.
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