Wet-Dry-Try App – And Writing Tools

Wet-Dry-Try App appears to be a great addition to a OT iTool Kit, providing mobile and additional methods of learning to a HWT curriculum. One of the wonderful things about an iPad is the mobile access it provides to carry it from room to room and school to school to use in therapy for transient therapists. However, having used the HWT materials for many years and being a firm believer of the need for development of fine motor skills with real manipulative or tools (using the real materials – the actual slate, chalk and sponges) are important for developing fine motor and sensory motor skills. Reviewer Carol Hesch, OTR also mentions this in her review of the app.

Carol’s review provoked about some further thoughts about using tools when engaging in the app. What tools or manipulatives can be used with the Wet-Dry-Try App?

  • Use a stylus to emulate use of a pencil, facilitating the development of a dynamic tripod grasp  and preparing for pencil paper transition of skills.

Many different styluses are available. Check out the stylus you are using to determine if they have connectivity to draw or write with the edge of the stylus when holding them at an angle which would facilitate a mature tripod grasp with finger extension.

Some styluses do not allow connectivity along the sides or edges resulting in holding them  up and down to write which does not encourage a mature grasp.

Many different stylus choices are available and more enter the market all the time. Here are some reviews of suggested styluses previously posted: Stylus review,  More styluses for special needs , Cosmonaut stylus review  .  Another source for styluses is Lauren Ender’s Pinterest page on Styli for iPads. One of the styluses she reviews is the Simplism Japan Grip Touch Pen for iPad which has a tripod grasp integrated into the shaft of the stylus. I have not trialed this but it looks interesting and is a reasonable price at Amazon ($9.51).

  • Use of a piece of cellulose sponge ( yes! – inexpensive cellulose sponge – just like what I cut apart for the HWT chalkboard practice)  was conductive on the iPad allowing me to draw/write with the small piece of sponge. This would also facilitate use of a pincer or three fingered grasp during Wet-Dry-Try  practice (dependent on skills and goals of the student).

This presented a few thoughts about use of Wet-Dry-Try app and tools to transition students to use of implements. Any suggestions of other tools or methods to use in therapy or with instruction?


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, AT for Handwriting, Fine Motor Development, Finger Isolation, Occupational Therapy, School Based Interventions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wet-Dry-Try App – And Writing Tools

  1. Sara says:

    I just tried the sponge and it didn’t work for me – thoughts? I tried all the sponges in my kitchen drawer…

    • Sara, I have used cellulose (really cheap) sponges. I am also using on an iPad without a screen protector which might be part of the reason that it is working for me. I have used the sponge on both of my devices which do not have any screen protector and it does work. Would that be the difference?

      Thank you for your comment and question.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Carol, I really like your blog! I wondered your thoughts about this HWT app in regards to sensitivity. Most of my kids get frustrated easily with this, even though it’s an awesome app, because too sensitive. For example, Friday I was showing my kinder teachers how it works, and it kept making me redo them for being off the line even though I was super close.

    • Karen,
      Sorry for the delay in responding to you. I have another Carol, Carol Hesch, OTR who also writes reviews for OT’s with Apps and I am going to share her expertise with you regarding the sensitivity issue:
      Carol Hesch replied:
      Regarding the HWT app question, I agree –it is particular & sensitive. It does require that you to stay on the board and you have to follow the direction of the letter, not lifting your finger on certain letters. For example the M. You make the big line first then “hop” back to the top and must make one continuous stroke for the remainder of the letter. I have not had too much of a problem if I vary from the line a bit. (She provided an example but which I can’t supply to you here – I will email it to you also!)
      I wonder if the iPad was flat or slanted? Sometimes if I am at a funky angle I think I am making good contact with the device and in fact, am not.
      Perhaps she could contact HWT and leave them feedback regarding her concern? Also, maybe she could try other slightly less sensitive Apps such as Alphabet Tracing or IWrite Words. However, if all the Kinder teachers are using the HWT program, it surely would be nice to have all staff use the App. It is frustrating when an app reprimands an OT–not cool! ;).

      Hope this was helpful?!

      The Other Carol (Hesch)
      Another thought is – are you using a stylus? Is it the connectivity of the stylus? Some styluses when held at an angle do not make good contact. Just a thought!
      I would also suggest contacting HWT – I think they really would appreciate your feedback! We all want this to be successful for our kids!

      Thank you Karen for taking the time to comment and question. I will write HWT also!

  3. Sue says:

    It looks like another trick to add to my iPad “arsenal”. You are using a dry sponge, correct? Does it leave any little scratches on the screen?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s