Teach Through Apps: Tiggly Words

Teach Through Apps: Tiggly Words

If you follow the blog, you already know I’m a huge fan of Tiggly. Tiggly Shapes and Tiggly Counts are excellent interactive toys for the tablet that focus on early math skills. But I’m especially excited that the new interactive toys, Tiggly Words, (which is released today) focuses on early literacy while staying true to the highly motivating, engaging format of Tiggly’s previous products.

I have found the interactive toys (Shapes, Counts, and Words) to be helpful with my students with autism who are highly motivated by the iPad. It allows for me to target specific academic needs in a way that is engaging for those learners.

Tiggly Words is a set of five vowel toys (a, e, i, o, u) designed by educators to interact with Tiggly's three new iPad apps: Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales and Tiggly Doctor.

Tiggly Words is a set of five vowel toys (a, e, i, o, u) designed by educators to interact with Tiggly’s three new iPad apps: Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales and Tiggly Doctor.

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: Tiggly Words consists of five vowel toys that interact with three apps: Tiggly Submarine, Tiggly Tales, and Tiggly Doctor. The apps all focus on basic letter and sound recognition skills, but include elements of silliness, exploration, and problem solving. Dr. Azadeh Jamalian, Chief Learning Officer and Co-Founder of Tiggly, said “We know physical play is an integral part of children’s development and with the launch of Tiggly Words, we now have three products that bring that physical play into children’s digital sandbox.” I love this goal, and I love the opportunities it provides for expanding the play skills of learners with autism.

Skills & Modifications: It usually very difficult to modify apps to meet the needs of an individual learner. However, because Tiggly Words includes the interactive toys, it’s possible to make some simple modifications. For example, if your learner struggles with scanning, you are able to reduce the number of letters he/she has to choose from to complete an activity. Or, if you are working on improving peer interactions with the tablet, you can give a peer some of the letters. This allows for opportunities for the learner with autism to make requests from peers or to engage with the peer in play on the tablet during the activity.

Letter Recognition/Sound Recognition – Tiggly Words is built to give lots and lots of practice with letter and sound recognition for vowels (a, e, i, o, and u.) It provides many examples of each vowel at the beginning, middle, and end of both CVC and more complex words.

The Tiggly Words toys are fantastic. The texture is smooth, and none of my students with autism have found the texture aversive. Furthermore, they're easy for small hands to pick up and manipulate.

The Tiggly Words toys are fantastic. The texture is smooth, and none of my students with autism have found the texture aversive. Furthermore, they’re easy for small hands to pick up and manipulate.

Phonics/Spelling – While some of the letter activities are related to matching, one of the things the app does that I love is that it becomes progressively more difficult. For example, at first it may show the letter you need to find, but after a few successful trials, the learner will have to find the correct letter by listening to the word being pronounced.

Independent Play – As I mentioned earlier, many of my students with autism really love the iPad, but for some of them it is difficult to find appropriate and motivating activities for them to engage in independently. If you have a learner who is also motivated by letters, Tiggly Words might just be the perfect fit.

Tiggly Doctor is a fun and silly app that lets learners practice phonics skills while helping sick patients.

Tiggly Doctor is a fun and silly app that lets learners practice phonics skills while helping sick patients.

Pros: The interactive toys add a whole new element to tablets. They allow for more peer and adult interaction, increase opportunities for modifications, and with three apps, it’s much easier to find an activity that meets your learner’s unique interests.

Cons: While I love that the skill level becomes more difficult as the child plays the Tiggly Submarine (one of the three apps,) I wish that there were a way to control the difficulty level. For some of my learners with autism, they need many more trials at a specific skill level before increasing the difficulty.

Cost: $29.95 for the word toys, each app is free You should invest in this toy if: you have a learner who is highly motivated by apps on a tablet, you are seeking unique ways to practice literacy skills, or you are looking for a way to increase functional use of the tablet for a learner with autism. 

Tiggly_Words_Lifestyle.pngABLLS: A10, B5, Q3, Q7, Q8, Q9, T1, T2

VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5

Tiggly Words was provided to me for free by the company Kidtellect to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the toy. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.

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