PLAY-DOH Create ABC’s is a new universal app that allows children to enjoy this popular modeling compound, now 55 years old, on their devices as they also learn their letters.
Needless to say, I was interested to see how Play-Doh, which is such a tactile toy, translates into an application.
There are three sections to this app with its main area being Write and Craft where children, after choosing from a large variety of Play-Doh colors, can trace each letter with the drag of a finger.
I appreciate how here, children are instructed to print these letters in specific steps that they need to follow, and it is not possible to simply scribble over the template to trigger a correct response – an issue I have with many letter-drawing apps.
After the letter is complete, the letter changes to look as if created from Play-Doh – which I enjoy, but I do wish the dragging of the finger – here to connect Doh balls to complete these letters – would also incorporate claymation as well, as if shaping these letters with Doh instead of looking like one is tracing with color, really a more digital experience I was hoping for as a longtime fan of Play-Doh, an adult concern that is likely not to register with children.
I am of however happy that after the letter is produced, the next screen includes a word to demonstrate the letter in question, being printed in colorful Doh letters as well. I also enjoy how an object or character is shaped from Doh to further illustrate each word and maintains child-like properties although obviously having been created by talented adults.
A thoughtful sentence is offered that includes the word in question such as “A is for alligator, with his sharp teeth and claws.” A tap of this Play-Doh figure will produce light animation and sound effects.
Children will be given the choice to create their own version of this character, choosing their personal colors for the different details that make up the sculpture.
It is fun and interesting how the different elements of these creations are broken down for kids, and but also a little confusing how only a representation of some of these shapes is offered, such as only the alligator head as a choice to be selected which then stretches into the entire body of this animal when added – a nice visual moment that I enjoy yet kids may at times have a hard time understanding the details they are looking at when choosing an element to add.
It is helpful that a faint 3D-like template aids children in adding these pieces in their rightful places after they have altered colors by choosing their own from different Play-Doh jars – a nice touch.
Children now have the choice to save or squish their project, and it is nice that even if squished, one’s creation can still be seen with this app to be used as the build to represent this letter the next time it is chosen as well as used in the other sections of this application.
I do wish, however, that this app were more committed to the squishing of these figures as the chance to crush Play-Doh digitally with the drag down of fingers is fun, but some of the sculptures become more flattened than others.
It would also be nice to end the section with the rolling up of the Doh into a ball and fully blending the colors – possibly easier said than done, but a favorite Play-Doh moment of mine that would be fun if also translated into this app.
The next section included – Create and Share – is a sticker type section that allows children a chance to choose different backgrounds as well as include previously explored Doh letters as well as created Play-Doh creations to add to one’s landscape with also nicely included animations and sound effects.
One is allowed to take a photo of their work here, but I do find it unfortunate that only the last build of any one letter representation is saved, so I can’t add multiple alligators to this page, each with a different color theme.
The other area of this app – Letter Matching – is a fun, educational section that also incorporates the last figure shaped per letter as one needs to match Play-Doh letters with sculpture, each representing a letter in question such as flowers for the letter “F” or an octopus for the letter “O.”
I really enjoy the look of these digital Play-Doh creations and the slight claymation that is also included. This app could be a nice introduction to letters and letter drawing for young children.
Although I don’t see this app taking the place of working with Play- Doh and other art supplies in real life, it is a nice app to set children up with when they ask for Play-Doh when time will not permit such as using it on the kitchen table right before dinner time or in bed before sleep. It is also nice that different children can have their own accounts, saving their special Doh sculptures for use later in the Create and Share section. For these reasons and more, this app is an easy one to recommend.