The end of the school year is not yet in sight, and you (and the kiddos) are sick of every toy and game you own. Does this sound familiar? If so, you might be looking for some new apps to chase away the winter-time blues.
I like to think outside the box when it comes to apps. I appreciate apps that can be used for a variety of things, and can give me the biggest bang for my buck. There are so many apps available, some free and some paid, that can be used. Heather compiled a fantastic list of free apps to use in language therapy, so here is my top list of paid apps for the same purpose. All are useful in a classroom or therapy setting, but would be useful to parents looking to help their kiddos at home as well.
iLuv Drawing: Monsters: I picked iLuv Drawing: Monsters because it's my personal favorite, but really all the iLuv Drawing apps by Myvijan llc are wonderful! There are several to choose from, but no matter what you choose, these apps are great for quickly working on following directions (especially if you have just a few minutes to fill). Your child can first select the picture she would like to draw. Once selected, the picture is broken into easy step-by-step directions, including lines to follow. At such a reasonable price, these apps are hard to pass up! They have also been on the Smart Apps for Kids Free App Friday list a time or two, so you could buy one now and keep your eyes open for others on that list. Therapy areas targeted: following directions, expressive language.
iPad only, $1.99:
Birds on a Wire: Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives: Each of these apps is sold individually by developer Kerrie Gallagher, but all are nice for working on various parts of speech. After a small mini lesson or review, I go right into letting the child select the correct word for the given part of speech from a choice of three. My students enjoy watching the incorrect birds fall off the wire, just as much as they like seeing the right answer fly up. After they are done, I ask that they use the word in a oral or written sentence. Therapy areas targeted: grammar, expressive language, written language.
iPad only, 99 cents each
Birds on a Wire Adjectives: Birds on a Wire Nouns: Birds on a Wire Verbs:
PuppetPals HD Director’s Pass and Puppet Pals 2: All Access: These apps from Polished Play LLC were also included on my top social skills list, but they are without a doubt my favorite apps to use in therapy sessions (they are extremely versatile). PuppetPals HD: Director’s Pass allows a child (or you) to create a story featuring customized backgrounds and characters (i.e., photos of you). Simply pick out the character and backgrounds of your choosing, and press record. You can move the characters around, creating a movie to share. It is a great app for storytelling, sequencing, grammar, and vocabulary.
iPad only, $2.99:
Puppet Pals 2: All Access also allows you to create a movie featuring a variety of characters, and can also be customized to include yourself. The characters in this app are more interactive, allowing the mouth, hands, and legs to talk, walk, and move. Used with iMovie, the movies you create can quickly be edited together to create a longer sequential story or a great fast social story. Typically, I use one of these two apps over a course of several sessions, starting with introducing parts of a story, adding details, and making sequences. Once we have those areas covered, we come up with some sort of story board to follow in our story. Therapy areas targeted: storytelling, sequencing, grammar, and vocabulary.
Story Builder: Mobile Education Store created this wonderful app to guide students in building a sequential story. With three different levels, kids can receive as much or as little assistance as they need to complete the story. I often start on level 1, where a question is asked with a guided sentence prompt to begin the answer. After several questions have been asked and answered, a full story is played. Therapy areas targeted: expressive language, creativity, wh-questions, sequencing.
iPad only, $7.99:
Bag Game: Several of my students struggle with asking as well as answering questions. In this app from all4mychild, an object is selected and hidden in a bag. Others are required to ask questions about the object in the bag. One of the trickier parts is making sure the kiddos remember what they have already asked (and the answers to those questions). I also find this app works well in conjunction with teaching the importance of categories, and could also be used to work on inferences. Therapy areas targeted: asking questions, answering questions, memory, categories, vocabulary.
Open Ended Articulation: Don’t let the name fool you. This can absolutely be used for language therapy! Once a target sound is selected, a sentence/question is given and the student is required to complete the sentence and give a reason. There is always an option to hear an answer, or skip to the next sentence. Therapy areas targeted: critical thinking or absurdities, answering questions, sentence structure.
In no way is this the be-all-end-all list of apps to use in speech/language therapy, but it can be a place to start or continue to use apps within your therapy session or your work at home with your kids. I hope it will also give you a starting point for using other apps as well!
Jenni loves winter, but thinks it is time for a break . . . at least for a few months.