The PLAY-DOH App for Learning and Fun

I know what you’re thinking: how can PLAY-DOH be a mobile application? We all remember playing with Hasbro’s modeling compound as kids – those yellow, plastic pots full of squishy, colorful clay are as enmeshed in our collective childhood experience as wooden alphabet blocks and erector sets. But the tactile experience provided by the hands-on activity of working with clay is impossible to translate into a digital medium. Or is it? The Hasbro brand aims to try with a mobile app for the iPad that seeks to take the concept of modeling clay to a virtual level. PLAY-DOH Create ABC’s is designed to take the familiar look of the substance kids love and transfer it into a virtual world that helps them to learn about letters in a fun, creative, and interactive way. And the game, made in conjunction with developer PlayDate Digital, is slated to be just the first in a series of educational apps.

The app will cost you $2.99, and if the reviews on iTunes are to be believed, there’s nothing to dislike about it. With an incredible 5-star rating thus far from users and claims that kids can’t get enough, parents are sure to be downloading this app like the dickens. But first you’d probably like to know what you get for your money. PLAY-DOH Create ABC’s offers three paths to learning the alphabet and eventually, developing reading and writing skills: Write and Craft, Create and Share, and Letter Matching.

Generally speaking, kids will start with the Write and Craft section, which allows them to follow the dots and mold the letters of the alphabet from virtual PLAY-DOH. Each lesson comes with cool and doughy animations that highlight the letter being learned (A is for alligator, etc.). And kids have the option to choose colors for each letter and even squish their mistakes, just like they might with real PLAY-DOH. In addition, each visual lesson comes complete with an audio component, including a poem, so that kids can experience how each letter sounds even as they learn to draw them.

Next it’s on to the Create and Share section, where kids can take the letters and creatures they’ve created, add backgrounds and objects, and assemble PLAY-DOH masterpieces for their virtual gallery. Once customization is complete, kids can even bring their pictures to life by animating the scene. The ones they like best can then be saved and shared with family and friends. Finally, kids can move along to the Letter Matching section, which allows them to put their newfound knowledge of the alphabet to the test by matching letters with the objects that have the same sound. Does “G” go with boat or gorilla? If they’ve paid attention, they’ll know the answer.

One day your kids will head off to Harvard Law or theĀ University of Cincinnati. But first they need to learn the alphabet. PLAY-DOH Create ABC’s provides a mess-free way for children to do just that. And the fun and interactive experience will familiarize them with the alphabet in no time.

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