Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Best of the Best! One handy list of our most popular Top Lists!

Who doesn't love a good Top 10ish List to help find the best of something? Our Top Lists are some of our most popular posts, and to make it easier for all our friends out there we have compiled this handy list of the best of the best! From speech therapy apps, to emotions, to handwriting, here are some of our favorite and most popular Top Lists. Be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference and so you can quickly share with your friends!

Smart Apps for Special Need's Picks for the Top 100 Apps for Kids

Some of these apps have been highlighted on our site, while others have been on Smart Apps for Kids. This list is arranged by categories, but the apps are in no particular order. The first app highlighted in each section is either the top choice chosen by Rachel H. or Heather S. or a highly recommended app on Smart Apps for Special Needs.

Adults deserve apps too! As you prepare for the new year, here are some apps that we think are great for Parents, Educators, and SLPs to have when working with children.

Top 10 Reviewed Apps for Speech and Language Development

The Smart Apps team includes several very knowledgeable speech language pathologists. Over the years, our staff has reviewed several speech and language apps. As I was looking for a speech app to work with my son while he is on a three-month break from school, I noticed all the top reviewed speech and language development apps. To make it easier for everyone to find, I compiled this handy-dandy little list.

Also be sure to check our Top Sixteen FREE Apps for Language Therapy.

Jenni's guide to the top paid therapy apps for language learning

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.

Top 12 FREE Apps for Learning Emotions

Emotions are a difficult concept for many kids to grasp. For children on the autism spectrum or with similar diagnosis, emotions are much harder to understand. There are many great apps out there to help with recognizing and understanding emotions. Among those apps, there are actually some great FREE apps that focus on emotions. Here are our Top Free apps for learning emotions.

If you are looking to expand beyond the free apps, be sure to check out our Top 10 Apps for Teaching Emotions and Calming Skills.

Top List of Recommended Apps That Show Actions

Are you looking for an app that shows actions with animation or videos, instead of a still picture? This can be difficult to portray in standard flashcards, so we posting the question to our readers. We wanted to see what other people used to help teach children action words and ended up with a terrific list of apps.

10 Apps to Make A Busy SLP's Life a Little Easier (and help others who have busy lives)

"Life is rough sometimes." My children will tell you that they hear this phrase from me more often than they'd like, but it's true. As parents, therapists and teachers, we are always looking for ways to make life's rough moments just a little easier. We all have our own personal strategies and tools to help us out. My mom/therapist bag of tricks contains some apps that lighten my load and make my hectic schedule run smoothly (er, smoother).

Top 10 Switch Accessible iPad Apps Targeting Cause and Effect Skills

The use of a switch can be a game changer for children with special needs. Switches allow students to access things that many of us take for granted and can help create a more inclusive atmosphere both in classrooms and at home. There are many switch accessible apps available. Several of these apps are designed for use as an AAC device, but many others can be used to target other early learning skills such as cause and effect. There are many factors to consider when selecting assistive technology tools, please consult with your child's speech pathologist or assistive tech team when making decisions for your unique child.

Updated and Expanded: Top 12 FREE Apps for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Deanne wrote this on her own blog, Small But Kinda Mighty, and has been kind enough to share it here. I felt bad that one of the apps listed was no longer available, so I added a few in addition to Deanne's picks and made it a TOP 12 FREE Apps for ASD Kids.

Get creative with these Top 10 Drawing Apps

Let the creative juices flow! Many children with fine motor delays benefit from drawing. The ease of use and immediate feedback of drawing apps can be a great way to allow kids to practice in a fun and easy manner. Hold a stylus to up the therapy value while drawing and practicing writing skills. I've put together a list of our Top 10 Drawing Apps

Thirty FREE apps just for Educators

Keep up-to-date with what's movin' and shakin' on the App Store with this list of the Top 30 most downloaded completely FREE apps (with no in-app purchases) available on iTunes as of September 28, 2014. This version features the apps for educators in the education category--these apps are designed with the teacher in mind, helping to create a better classroom and learning experience.

Top apps for inference and critical thinking

A really hot topic in education right now is the need for critical thinking. The Common Core State Standards, love them or hate them, require students in most of the US to make inferences, predict, and analyze at a very young age. Here are a few of my favorite apps to target these areas.

10 Favorite YouTube Channels for Educational Songs and More

Sarah has several YouTube channels that she uses to find songs and stories that are educational and fun. She can almost always find a video that relates well to a theme. The kids love it and the teacher can reinforce and review past lessons by repeating the videos throughout the year. Teachers can also share the links with parents so the kids can enjoy the songs and stories with their families. Check out her ten favorite YouTube channels and get ready for some seriously fun singing and dancing!

Top 10 FREE game apps when adults have a spare minute

Since I have become a parent it seems as if my days are broken up by three minutes breaks here, one minute of spare time there. While I have given up on finishing a cup of coffee while it is still hot, I find myself stuck waiting for an appointment to start or to pick up a child throughout the day. I'd love to be able to mash all these spare minutes into one consecutive break, but that just isn't how it works. So while I'm waiting for my son's therapy to end, or school to let out for the day I indulge in a little downtime with these quick fix apps.

Top 10 Basic Concept Apps

Basic concepts are crucial building blocks for vocabulary development and following directions. Kids also need to learn to use these concepts expressively to describe and ask/answer questions. As an SLP, Sarah helps children develop and understand this type of vocabulary through structured play, highlighting them during everyday classroom activities and, of course, by using apps.

Top Apps for Behavior Management

Parents and Educators looking for apps to help with behavior need to look no further. Here are staff and reader recommended apps for just that! Also, be sure to follow our Pinterest board on Behavior Management for apps and other hands on ideas and activities.

Top Cooking Apps to Help Children in the Kitchen

There are so many important skills that can be learned while in the kitchen. Cooking is full of lessons having to do with math, eye/hand coordination, following directions and more. Here are some apps to help get a child started in the kitchen — many could be adapted for use in classrooms or therapy sessions as well.

Top 10 Apps for Learning Numbers (plus a few bonus apps)

No matter where you go or what you do, numbers are everywhere. From telling time to balancing a checkbook to a figuring out if you have enough money to buy a snack, it is hard to go a day without dealing with numbers. Other than the alphabet, one of the first academic concepts children are introduced to is numbers. Numbers can be intimidating for some, but these apps make learning numbers fun! From identifying to counting, here is our Top 10 List for Learning Numbers (plus a few bonus multi-skill apps)!

Math apps for teens working at a lower level

There are a lot of early math concept apps that are decorated with cute monkey pictures, or images that you would associate with a young child. Teenagers may not necessarily take to that kind of interface, but still need those foundational skills. The following list of apps came from a discussion on our Facebook page and include recommendations by our readers and staff.

Smart Apps Staff's Top 10 List of Handwriting Apps

There is something about handwriting apps that gets the staff at Smart Apps for Kids and Smart Apps for Special Needs excited! There are so many handwriting apps available, but some truly stand out above the rest. We recently discussed which apps were our favorites for teaching and helping children practice their handwriting. This discussion lead to the creation of this list.

Top Recommended Apps for Toddlers and Preschoolers, including special needs - Part 1 and Part 2

Looking for apps for kids in the toddler or preschool range, including apps recommended for speech, social skills and basic concepts? We posted that question to our readers and had so many responses that we created two separate lists. Be sure to check Part 1 and Part 2 to find all the recommended apps.

Top List of Ideas for Rewarding Good Behavior Without Clutter (with apps!)

Everyone is motivated by some form of reward. My daughter was potty trained by earning M&M's each time she used the potty and didn't have an accident. Many elementary teachers have treasure chests and sticker charts to reward positive behaviors. I know it works, however, when my kids asked if we could do a treasure chest at home, I cringed. I did not want more knick knacks and kids meal type toys cluttering the house. So I started to brainstorm what motivates kids and in an "ah-ha" moment it came to me -- apps!

Top 10 Apps for Taking Notes in Class

For any child with muscle weakness in their hands, it is easy to fall behind with school work. Many of the parents on an online Osteogenes Imperfecta parents support group voiced praise for the use of iPad Minis and other tablets helping their child keep up in school.  From apps which help take notes to ones where worksheets can be scanned and completed electronically, there are many options to help kids who are struggling to keep up. Here are some apps and ideas which may help.

Sarah's Top 10 List for Making the Most of Book Apps

Book apps provide countless opportunities to combine literacy activities with "the talk" that leads to understanding of new concepts. My students love using book apps and become more active learners because they can interact with the story. These apps build vocabulary and teach phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and comprehension. There are some amazing book apps available.

Jenni’s Top 10 (now 12) Apps for Social Skills

While many apps exist for social skills, so often they address only one or a just few specific areas. This is my list of apps that I feel can be used in so many different ways! Here are just a few apps to get you started, in no particular order.

Top Ten Apps To Teach Tots To Be Safe

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3., children have the right to be kept safe. For our kids with special needs, often this requires extra supervision and extra reinforcemen of behaviors that are safe. There are many ways we can teach safety to children, including role-playing, predicting possible outcomes of future events, reading books, watching videos and, of course, using apps!

Top 10 Space Apps -- From learning about the galaxies to rocketing through the alphabet

Whether you have a child who loves space, loves all things science, or you are working on a space rotation at school, here are our 10 favorite apps on the subject. We have apps that are full of information about space, stars, planets and even the international space station. And to appeal to children who just love anything space related, we threw in a few games that are out of this world!

Top 10 Apps for Sea Lovers -- Dive into a world of ocean fun!

From the early learners, who will engage more easily when a cute fish helps them through the alphabet, to the more advanced learners, who want to learn about how a baleen whale has 2 blow holes, this list has you covered.

Top Recommendations for Limiting iPad Time

Last but not least is our most popular top list! A reader asked, "Need help! My 9year old ASD daughter has an iPad and I am looking for an app that will limit the amount of time she can do certain programs. Does anyone know of an app like this. Thanks for any help you can give." Read what people recommended.


Rachel H spent her Saturday night watching Thor and compiling this handy list.

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