Thursday, January 30, 2014

Featured App: Secret Suitcase - Teach reflection, gratitude and joy

Self-confidence, generosity, and kindness are traits we all want our kids to possess, but these are abstract concepts, which can be tricky to explain.  Secret Suitcase is an app that can help teach these concepts in a sweet and unique way.  It allows families, friends or classmates to store (like a journal) and share words or recordings of gratitude and kindness in a safe, secure format.  The developer, Mila Publishing Sarl, has a book that can be used in conjunction with the app and a website where "wishes" can be sent and stored.  Mila Publishing is also committed to raising awareness about dyslexia and their products feature a special font designed to make it easier for children to read.  Start filling your own suitcase and those of others today.  This would be a great classroom activity for Valentine's Day or Kindness Week.

If you'd like to download Secret Suitcase (iPhone/iPad, FREE), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs and click the link provided:



****Only an app's developer can control when an app is free.  All apps we post as free are verified to be free at the time they are posted.  We make no guarantees otherwise. *****

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There are no ads or in-app purchases.  There are external links to the developer's website and to e-mail wishes to others.  
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Random acts of kindness make the world a better place.  Secret Suitcase gives children the opportunity to develop gratitude and to spread joy to others.  Users can create a special avatar complete with their choice of cap, hair, shirt, pants and shoes.  Children can reflect on the positive things they have done by filling their own suitcase or they can share the love and send wishes to others.

Filling their own suitcase is almost like keeping a virtual journal.  Children are encouraged to document nice things they have done.  They can select from a list of things like "Played with a friend," or "I helped a classmate."  They can write their own message which could work on writing skills and for younger children, there is a record feature too.  There is an option to "View Your Suitcase," which is a great way for children to look back at their positive accomplishments.

Secret Suitcase makes it easy and fun to share good wishes with others.  Again there are 3 options for sending a wish: choose a wish from a pre-made list, write your own or record your own.  You can email the wish to a friend or simply send it to the Mila and Maks website.

There is an information tab with a link to the website and the philosophy of the program.  You can download free coloring pages from the website and learn more about the Secret Suitcase program available for schools.

From iTunes:

The SECRET SUITCASE app is helping children to develop Joy, Kindness, Generosity and Self-Confidence in a fun and playful way. 

The app empowers children to be creative, to ‘store’ their happy thoughts and to share little acts of kindness in a responsible and safe environment.

 The app is an addition to the wonderful Maks & Mila books series, which through uplifting narrative and positive reinforcement, provide the perfect fun tool for children to develop valuable life skills. 

Combined with powerful, eye-catching and memorable illustrations, the beautifully designed Maks & Mila book and the SECRET SUITCASE app immediately captures one’s imagination and provide a beautiful opportunity for families and siblings to interact, leaving them with a sense of Joy and Happiness. 

Both the SECRET SUITCASE app and the book, feature a special award winning font that is especially designed for children with dyslexia; making literature and iPad / iPhones games accessible to all! 

Features 
Create your own Maks & Mila characters 
Upload them to the website or send them to friends to be used as a wallpaper 
Send ‘real’ kind wishes to family members and (known) friends 
Receive kind wishes back automatically after every three wishes send, to stimulate the act of ‘sending kind wishes’ 
Fill your own SECRET SUITCASE with happy thoughts; developing Gratitude and Joy 
All features can be used by either voice recording, writing and reading; stimulating development of writing, reading and speaking skills 
Age group: 3 to 10

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Sarah and her students are going to be filling a lot of suitcases with happy thoughts over the next few weeks!

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