Laugh and Learn: Learning Letters Puppy App Review

Most apps created for toddlers and preschool children are designed to be entertaining with colorful, non-cluttered layouts, have music/interesting sounds, use small movements to grab the child's focus, are self-voicing and often have an age-appropriate educational content - all of these features are ideal for children who are visually impaired or blind. These basic apps tend to jump right into the game and require only one or two gestures to play - typically a tap or a swipe - providing many opportunities for children to practice the gesture(s) while interacting with the game. Can a young child who is totally blind play these mainstream apps? Absolutely! Laugh and Learn: Learning Letters Puppy by Fisher Price is a great example of a free, mainstream, self-voicing app with educational content that young children with VIB love!

Screenshot of ABC game with the bold capital A, an apple with a smiling worm, and the word Apple.

Accessibility for Child

Laugh and Learn: Learning Letters Puppy is self-voicing, meaning that the app provides auditory feedback for each action/reaction on the screen. The app is not compatible with VoiceOver; however, the app is accessible due to the self-voicing nature of the app. The app has simple, colorful images with high contrast on an uncluttered background, making it ideal for students with low vision. 

Note: This app is used in Portrait Mode only.

Purpose

This app is a basic type cause and effect app. Tap anywhere on the screen to activate the music/sounds or to turn the page (depending on the game). Note: Tap, swipe right or swipe left all have the same effect.The content is educational (introducing letters, phonics, numbers, etc.); students do not need to be familiar with letters or numbers to play. If the child is inactive, the app will try to catch the student's interest again by sound (child's voice talking) or visually, by moving one item on the screen.

Note: Multiple fingers can touch and activate the screen; however, the game is designed for and works best with a one-finger single tap.

Screenshot of 123 game with 3 red apples and a bold number three.

Play

On the Home page, select the desired game.

There are four cause and effect games within this app:  

  • ABC game introduces letters and a word associated with each letter
  • 123 game introduces counting
  • Songs 
  • Shapes and Colors Introduces shapes and colors

ABC Game: Tap anywhere on the screen to move to the next letter in the alphabet. The game announces the letter, name of a word, and a sound associated with the word. Visually, the screen shows the letter, an image of the word, and the written word.

123 Game: Tap anywhere on the screen to move to the next number. The game announces the number and a sound associated with the image provides counting clues for only the smaller numbers.

Songs Game: Tap anywhere on the screen to start a song. There are multiple songs including songs about the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, friends, etc.

Shapes & Colors: Tap once anywhere on the screen to hear the shape and a sound associated with the image that contains that shape. Tap again to hear the color of the image. Tap a third time to turn the page. After several pages, a song is activated. The shape and color is announced, but the object (image) is not announced; however, the corresponding song mentions the objects. This activity is not fully accessible (as the object is not initially described) but students still enjoy this game and are introduced to color and shape terms.

Exit any game by double tapping in the top right corner on the Home button.

Screenshot of the color and shape game with a gold kit and the words, "orange" and "Diamond"

Settings

  • Home button (on/off) enables the Home button to be removed from the game screens
  • Sound button (on/off)

Accessibility for Adults

The Home screen, settings and information buttons and pages are not self-voicing and are not compatible with VoiceOver. For an adult who is visually impaired who is assisting a child, it is important to know the layout of the Home screen to be able to select the desired game. On the Home screen, the middle of the page is divided into four quadrants with four large game buttons. The ABC button is in the top left, 123 button is top right, Songs button is bottom left and Shapes button is bottom right. The information is located in the very top right corner and the settings tab is located at the very bottom right. All the buttons on the Home page make a clicking sound when activated.