M and I have been playing with i Learn to Write’s Chinese Stroke Writing app designed for the iPhone and iPad this week. It is a pretty good app designed for English speaking children learning to write Chinese. The app covers the 20 basic strokes and 20 common radicals which is more than enough to get your child started in learning the correct stroke forms.
I am particularly fond of the pictorial examples that are used to demonstrate each stroke and the proper direction. For example, the right falling stoke for 捺 (na4) is pictured as a playground slide as a memory tool. This makes this app very child friendly and visually appealing. Out of all the Chinese stroke apps that I have tried with M, this one has captured his interest and engaged him the longest. This is far more fun and engaging way to introduce writing than tedious practice on character practice paper especially for young children who struggle with fine motor skills.
The app interface is a bit on the sensitive side, so your child will have to be somewhat precise when tracing the stroke which is rather important in Chinese writing anyways. If you don’t follow the stroke correctly, the pencil will not move to the next stroke in sequence until you redo the stroke. There is no need to wonder where to start since the pencil always marks where the proper place to start the stroke. There are audio as well as pin yin with tone markings so that your child can learn how to pronounce the character.
Currently, this app is available for free download for a limited time. It is normally $0.99 which is well worth the price. There is also a free lite version available to try out in case you miss out on the free download.
Highly recommended for children age 3 and up.