Common Sense Review
Updated September 2012

Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development

Hand and finger exercises help kids develop fine motor skills in fun ways
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Students practice tracing letters (capital and lowercase) and numbers.
  • In Tap It, kids keep a thumb on the anchor and tap triangles that appear.
  • Progress reporting after each exercise, and on an overall user report sheet.
  • Kids pinch little crabs as they move around the screen to practice fine motor skills.
  • Three practice modes: Tap It, Pinch It, Write It.
Pros
The short exercises combined with bright images, sounds effects, timed tasks, and encouraging data make exercises fun and sticky.
Cons
Exercises begin at a level of speed and complexity that may be frustrating for kids.
Bottom Line
Three well-crafted exercises help students with fine motor skills, letter formation, and finger pinching.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Kid-friendly elements are built into each activity to make them more engaging and fun, although some kids may still find them repetitive.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Dexteria's three modes include fine motor exercises that are combined with fun sounds effects, timed tasks, and encouraging data.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Simple audio and visual prompts in the exercises for directions. Adults can help kids learn via the automatic usage and performance reports.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Dexteria -- Fine Motor Skill Development is a useful tool that can help teachers empower students to practice hand and finger coordination and writing skills with three simple exercises that can be performed solo. For example, if students are writing letters backward, the Write It exercise provides arrows on top of the letters and sounds (to indicate correct and incorrect lines) to help keep kids on the right line, step-by-step, making it almost impossible for them to write the letter incorrectly, even without teacher supervision. Simple audio and visual prompts help make Dexteria accessible for young kids (there's a Dexteria Jr. for even younger kids) and kids with special needs. The Tap It exercise may be especially difficult for some kids, and may require more teacher guidance than the other two exercises to avoid initial frustration.

If students in your class are working with an occupational therapist on related fine motor skills, you can use Dexteria to supplement their therapy and share individual student progress and usage reports (via email or print) with parents or therapists.

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What's It Like?

Dexteria -- Fine Motor Skill Development is an exercise app for the hands and fingers of young kids, or older kids with special needs. Through three fun exercises, kids can learn how to pinch and tap on-screen objects (with one anchor finger that remains in place), and write letters and numbers. Kids practice fine motor skills, as well as build hand and finger strength, control, and dexterity. Dexteria -- Fine Motor Skill Development also lets kids practice following directions, putting forth effort, and working beyond obstacles to help improve skills that may be challenging for them. Because some of the exercises are timed, kids also gain practice in handling stress under pressure. 

The three modes -- Write It, Tap It, and Pinch It -- are exercises, not games, although Tap It and Pinch It play like very simple digital games. In Tap It, lines appear with colored triangles on the ends that kids must tap while keeping a thumb on the "anchor dot." In Pinch It, kids pinch small crabs to make them disappear; difficulty increases as crabs begin to move, change color, and multiply. Write It gives kids verbal and visual prompts to trace capital or lowercase letters as well as numbers. When kids touch the blue dots within the letters, a dinging sound lets them know they've hit the right spots.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Dexteria -- Fine Motor Skill Development is a well-made app for students who need extra help with fine motor skills, letter formation, and skills like finger pinching -- skills that help in many ways, including manipulating mobile device screens that they may need to use for other app-based classroom activities. The automatic tracking and reporting features will be valuable to teachers sharing information with parents and therapists, although you have to make an in-app purchase ($3.99) to track multiple students' progress. The activities don't provide kids with rewards per se, but fun sound effects, timed tasks, and encouraging tracking of levels completed can help keep kids' attention. This sustained attention is key, because these activities are only fully effective if repeated until mastered.

With consistent use, students who need extra help tracing letters, using their fingers in specific ways like pinching, and keeping certain fingers steady while moving others can benefit from their time on Dexteria. 

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See how teachers are using Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development