Bottom line: Sheepy School: Alphabet offers a fun way to introduce letters to your youngster with sweet characters designed to help peak your little ones interest and facilitate learning. With multiple activities to foster skills like letter recognition and letter writing, Sheepy School: Alphabet is the newest release from Ora Dangut (the folks who brought you Animals: Sounds & Games and Animals: Colors & Games.) This app is free to download.
If you’d like to download Sheepy School: Alphabet (free, iOS) please use the handy link below so they’ll know who sent you.
What’s included: Two activities (Learning Letters & Writing Letters)
Two additional activities (Letter Balloons & Sheepy Names) available for a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Sheepy School: Alphabet is a newly released alphabet app that helps introduce your preschooler to letters and to help them build a solid foundation for the reading skills that will come later. Currently this app has two free activities to download (Learning Letters & Writing Letters) and two available through in-app purchase (Letter Balloons & Sheepy Names). I reviewed this app after making the in-app purchase.
The four activities each offer different aspects of learning the alphabet. Learning Letters shows your child each letter, says the name of the letter out loud, and shows a picture of an item that starts with that letter. Writing Letters gives your child the opportunity to trace each letter to help them prepare for writing them later in school. Sheepy Names appears to have the intention of teaching kids word building skills, though I think that might be a little advanced for the non-readers that this app is directed at. Letter Balloons works on letter recognition skills letting kids pop each balloon as the letter is called out.
- Cute artwork and characters that appear to be well thought out by the developer (one of the little sheep is named Elvis!) I anticipate that we will be following these little sheepy friends through other areas of learning.
- The graphics and quality of functions in this app appear to work exactly as they should. It feels well-made, having most of the little functions that I’ve come to expect in a certain level app.
- I couldn’t find a way to flip between the activities and still stay in the same letter. If I started out in Learning Letters and chose G, I could opt to go to Letter Writing by tapping a button. But once I finished writing the letter G the only option was to go to the next letter rather than flip back to Learning Letters. I’d like if there was a way to stay on the same letter so that you could choose to go back to learning letters and continue to practice and learn about the same letter. It just felt a little awkward getting around. It would also be nice if there were also a way to flip over to Sheepy Names (after making the in-app purchase, of course) from each individual letter. (Sheepy Names did, unfortunately, lack the option to jump to individual letters. You had to scroll through the alphabet to get to a desired letter/character.)
- While the little sheep characters are cute, it was not immediately apparent to me what the significance of each one was when you see them off to the side in Learning Letters. They seem totally random unless you choose to make the in-app purchase to open up the Sheepy Names (and Letter Balloons) activities. Then you find out that each sheep has a name and that they each appear in the letter that coincides with their names. That did make me feel a little better, but it would still be better if they were identified by name somehow in Learning Letters so that kids could make the connection to the letter of their name. Even better would be if they weren’t connected by their name at all but instead represented professions/occupations – Artist, Baker, Doctor, Farmer, etc.
Overall, Sheepy School: Alphabet has laid the groundwork to be a decent alphabet app for preschoolers. Unfortunately, I felt like they did stop a little bit short in some areas by not having smooth transitions back and forth between activities in the same letter and by not taking the extra step in making sure that the characters were easily identifiable with the letter that they were intended to represent. In an already packed app market, developers really need to take the extra steps to set themselves apart or they will end up getting lost in the crowd. I’m giving this one 3.5 stars.