Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears ~ Wet/Dry Try App Review

1:30 AM

My daughter is really starting to catch on to Pre-K. It has taken me quite a while to get used to teaching her as I have had to learn to recognize her learning style. She is the type of student who is really sharp but she doesn't want you to know she's smart. It can be frustrating but we are beginning to really enjoy school. One thing that she struggles with (and I don't know a child who doesn't struggle with this) is her handwriting. There are just some letters that she has such a difficult time writing. The curriculum that I am using with her is fantastic when it comes to handwriting because it does alot of repetitive review so she is constantly writing. This is a good thing for her. Outside of school, I often find her doodling on papers...trying to write her letters on her own and she is so cute when she does this.
One of our favorite tools to use during the day after school has finished is the iPad. I just love all the educational apps that are available for me to use with Hannah...there are some very creative ones out there! Even before Hannah had started school, we had found some apps that worked with her and handwriting and they were fantastic! Now that we are actually learning how to write letters, I have discovered a wonderful app that is truly helping Hannah understand the formation and structure of writing letters. 
Handwriting Without Tears is a program that is designed to make handwriting fun and easy for children. Because I have a child who is just starting out, I received the opportunity to try the Wet/Dry Try App for the iPad. Tracing letters is something that Hannah really enjoys and it actually helps her write better. The Wet/Dry Try App focuses on using hands-on and educationally-sound methods to teach handwriting in a clear and concise manner. The verbiage that is used in communicating the instructions is also super easy to understand and the narrator uses very elementary sentence structure...which is wonderful. I have found that Hannah needs CLEAR directions and explanations as to why she needs to do things a certain way and that is one of the reasons I was interested in the Wet/Dry Try App.
One of my favorite things about using the Wet/Dry Try App is that you can set it up to be difficult for your older children or easier for the younger ones. In the settings, you can select up to four users and tailor the settings for each user. Hannah is 4 and is just learning how to write her letters. So, I chose an easier stroke tolerance for her. With Jacob, I would also choose the easy stroke tolerance because he knows absolutely nothing about writing. So when you go in to use the app, you can pick which child will be using the app and their settings will be ready for them.

Another feature that is wonderful about this app is that the specific letter that is being practiced will be reviewed four different times. The first time, the narrator writes the letter.
Then, the child is asked to wet the letter with the sponge. There is a small blue sponge at the starting point of the letter and the child puts their finger on the sponge and writes (traces over) the letter.
Next, they are asked to dry the letter with the towel. This is so neat because the child then re-traces what they have already written with the sponge...hence the name Wet/Dry Try App. :). Once they have finished using the towel, they are then asked to write the letter with the chalk. A small piece of chalk appears at the starting point and the child then traces the letter once more with the chalk. After each time of tracing the letter, the narrator uses positive feedback for the child by saying things like "You are SMART!" or "Great!". My daughter loves to hear that she is doing a good job. If for some reason the child struggles staying on the lines, the narrator will say things like "Let's try that again." or "Oops, stay on the lines!" to help guide the child  in proper writing.
Once your child has finished the letter and written it successfully 3 times, they earn a gold star! After three stars are earned for that particular letter, there is a colored picture "taped" over the letter in the letter selection screen.
When Hannah earned her first colored picture, she literally ran to me and was so excited to show me her progress. Now, as she completes each letter three different times she will earn a colored picture to show that she has finished that letter.
Each day after she has had her nap, Hannah asks me if she can "write her letters" and I am more than happy to oblige. Not only can she learn how to write her letters, she can also practice numbers too. This is nice as well because she struggles with numbers more so than letters. I have found that the Wet/Dry Try App makes writing her numbers enjoyable and is not something that I have to force her to do. Here is a brief video of Hannah using this app (pardon the noise in the background, my son was obviously having fun with his toys LOL!)...
We had some friends over the other day and they have a three year old. He had never seen an iPad before and my husband was showing him some of the apps that we have on there that are geared towards children.. One of the apps he showed him was the Wet/Dry Try App and his parents were drooling over it. He was having a blast writing his numbers and he is only 3!!

I thought Wet/Dry Try would work for my two year old but when I sat down to do it with him, his coordination skills were not at all what I had expected them to be.  He just could not do it and kept writing outside of the guidelines. It didn't work at all for him but that is him. I am sure there are two year olds out there who would do a fantastic job with this app but he just could not do it.
The Wet/Dry Try App is compatible with iPads as well as Android devices with a 7" screen. You can purchase this app for $4.99 from the App Store. That price is fantastic for what you are getting and your child will LOVE this app!! Oh yes, and you can also find Handwriting Without Tears on Facebook so be sure to check them out there.

So, in my opinion...we are loving the Wet/Dry Try App from Handwriting Without Tears! It is a really fun and effective way for my daughter to learn her letters and numbers and is also very encouraging for her as well. She needs a lot of positive reinforcement and this app provides that in huge amounts. I would definitely recommend this app to any parent or caretaker who has a little one that needs help with handwriting skills. They will learn what they need to about writing and will enjoy themselves in the process.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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4 comments

  1. What a good review! We've been enjoying the program as well!

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  2. This is an excellent review! It gives a very through overview of the program, how you used it, and how it worked for your child. Well done!

    I love the up-close photos and the video.

    Great work!

    Warmly,
    Kate

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  3. I just purchased this app for my 6 year old and 4 year old based on your review, but I can't seem to find where to add a second child?!? I can edit her name and sign up for emails in the settings, but that is all I see. Am I missing something obvious!?!? Thanks!

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  4. Hi KLMNBogue, Thanks for your comment. Well, when I open the app from my iPad, it shows the blue screen with the children standing there. Then, it goes to the screen with the child's name. In the lower right hand corner, there is a button that looks like a wheel that is for settings. If you click on that button, you should go to a different page that gives you the option to add more children...you should see the child you already have added listed at the top of the screen and other slots under there. Let me know if that is what you need. If not, let me know and I will keep digging for an answer. :)

    ~Sally

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