Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Reviewed by: Abby Brayton, MS, OTR/L (Click here to see Abby's blog!)

App Name/Publisher: Dexteria by BinaryLabs

Description: Dexteria consists of three sets of hand exercises to enhance fine motor skill development and promote handwriting readiness. Tap It promotes finger isolation, Pinch It promotes the development of a pincer grasp, and Write It promotes the development of more advanced finger movements required for tracing letters.

Therapy Use: I often use the Tap It and Pinch It sets as a warm-up activity prior to handwriting during an OT session. In Pinch It (shown below), the goal is to pinch each crab to make it disappear.

As the levels get more challenging, the crabs increase in numbers and begin to move around. They even turn red and if you pinch a red crab, it will multiply into three crabs!

Tap It works on finger isolation. I find that this set of exercises is quite challenging for most students, but is great for working on motor planning, in addition to finger isolation. Tap It can be used with either hand and is first calibrated to the student’s hand, as shown below.

The student then must keep his hand on the blue anchor and use his fingers to tap the triangles as they appear.

Write It consists of letter tracing of capital letters, lowercase letters, and numbers 1-9. It promotes correct letter formation and reinforces that for most letters you do not need to pick your pencil up while writing the letter. Write It requires a significant amount of accuracy when tracing, encouraging precise finger and hand movements. Used in conjunction with a stylus, it can be a great tool for teaching letter formation!

App Benefits/Likes: Tap It and Pinch It get more challenging with each level passed. Write It promotes appropriate letter and number formation. Letter formation can be completed using a stylus to promote carryover to paper and pencil. Touch screen letter formation is great for students who are resistant to holding a pencil or crayon. Can be used with children or adults. Automatically creates performance and usage reports that can be emailed. Great for data collection!

Cautions: Finger isolation is challenging for many students in Tap It. Since fingernails to do not activate the screen, students can have difficulty pinching the crabs in Pinch It. Write It does not provide as much auditory or visual feedback as some other letter formation apps. Write It requires extreme accuracy in tracing, which can be frustrating for early writers.

Skill(s) Targeted:
Finger isolation
Fine motor planning
Fine Motor control
Visual motor
Letter formation

Age/Grade Levels Targeted: This app primarily targets younger children (ages 4-10) who are developing finger isolation and grasping skills, as well as letter formation. The app is not overly childish, so it could really be used by someone of any age who is working on developing those skills.

How to Activate: Isolated finger point for Tap It, Two finger swipe for Pinch It, Hold and drag for Write It.

Type of Device: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Requires iOS 3.2 or later

Cost $4.99

Would you recommend this app? Yes, absolutely for the for the Tap It and Pinch It exercises! These exercises are unique to this app. If you are only looking for a letter tracing app, Dexteria might not be the app for you.

Review Date 4/1/12


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