Some favorite apps for iPads and iPods.
Use of Apps for Speech and Language Development
There are many uses for apps both in the therapy setting and at home. And, best of all, they don't have to look "speechy" to be effective! Like many everyday activities, you can turn games and other entertaining apps into learning opportunities. The more talking and modeling you can do during an app, the better. Here are some of the apps that I like along with a description. Please note, however, that apps can not replace real-life communication. Research has shown that too much screen time for young children can have negative consequences.
- These are my absolute favorite apps right for imaginative play! There is a free version of PlayHome, but it's worth paying for the full app. Kids can turn appliances on/off, open and close cabinets, eat food, feed the fish, put the kids in pajamas and pull the covers up, and more! You can tell stories, practice verbs, and get lots of language with this app. All three of these are worth getting.
- Toca Boca apps are AWESOME! My kiddos love these apps. There are so many ways to use language - naming vocabulary, asking questions, counting, sequencing, telling what they are doing (-ing verbs), and so much more. Toca Band is great for cause/effect and playing with sound.
- Spark your child's imagination with this fantastic cartoon app. Kids are guided through the different parts of making a story while they move their characters and record their own voice. It's a great tool to teach the parts of stories (e.g. setting, problem, climax, resolution), work on sentence structure/grammar, and a lot of fun at the same time.
- These food apps, along with pizza, pie, and cake pops give kids ways to make and decorate food any way they would like. It can be used to describe toppings, ask questions, follow directions, and sequence. Kids love "eating" their creations afterward!
- For students in grades 2 and up, this app does a nice job of working on synonyms and antonyms in a game format. You can choose to have them recognize the correct answer from four choices or tell it without choices.
- This is my go-to app for practicing speech sounds. It includes real pictures and students can practice single words, phrases, sentences, and stories. They can also record themselves and listen to it.
- Kids LOVE this talking animal series. In addition to these two apps above, you can get Talking Tom 2 and Talking Gina (a giraffe) for free or several other apps for a small price. These apps repeat back what they hear you say, but in a different voice. Talking Tom and Ben use two voices to create a newscast. Lots of fun for everyone!