I’ve been neglecting you Android users lately, so I wanted to share a little love and tell you about a relatively new app that works on both Android and Apple operating systems! It’s also one of the few kids’ apps available on Google Play to measure up to what is available on iOS, in my oh-so-humble opinion. 🙂
I’ve used (and even reviewed) apps by this developer before, so I was excited to hear they had a new app coming out and wanted me to review it! Life got in the way, so it has already been out a couple months now, but I am still thrilled to share it with you.
To appease the masses, I’ve found an app for both Android and Apple users! Actually, I originally wrote this review after finding it on Google Play and didn’t realize until later that it was also available on iTunes! I was very excited that all of my readers could benefit from this one. Also, I had mentioned to a few of you that I found some Android apps similar to the Toca Boca ones on iDevices–Dr. Panda’s Hospital is definitely one of those. While this app is based on an animal hospital, the game’s set-up is quite similar to Toca Doctor. Here are my thoughts on it:
What It Is: An app for “playing vet” and healing hurt/sick animals by TribePlay.
So that my Apple readers don’t get TOO jealous of my new addition of Android reviews, here’s a review of a fun and inexpensive app for iDevices. I’m actually quite excited about this app because the developer just added new content that bumps it up from “good” to “great!” Also, this is another app for those “three T” (trucks, tractors, & trains)-obsessed boys and girls since there are quite a few vehicles to choose from–including trucks and tractors!
What It Is: A game for designing (and then driving) vehicles by ABCya.com.
I am branching out a little with this review, since LessonPix is an online tool not an app; however, I’m completely convinced that it will still be worth my readers’ time! Obviously, I love what tablets and phones can do in therapy–after all, I do devote hours each week to evaluating apps and sharing them with others. But I readily admit that sometimes an app just won’t do it. Sometimes an app isn’t available for a particular skill, or sometimes using a tablet/phone isn’t appropriate with a particular client, or sometimes it’s important that a different medium be used (e.g. when focusing on skills that require manipulation of a physical object). And sometimes *gasp* there is an app that could address a skill appropriately, but it’s not the best way to address it. Shocking, right? Of course not, because you are all wonderful critical thinkers who long ago realized that the iPad is an awesome tool, not a panacea. That said, the unfortunate thing about many non-app activities is how time-consuming lesson planning/preparing can become. Hopefully this review will help you make the process more efficient. Oh…and did I forget to mention there is a GIVEAWAY accompanying this review?? 😉 See the giveaway post for details on how to enter to win.
What It Is: An online tool for creating customized materials from an extensive clipart library.
Going through my apps list recently, I have to laugh at how many of them involve what I refer to as “the three T’s” (tractors, trucks, & trains), which are staples in many preschoolers’ play. I worked with one boy in particular who was obsessed with these things. While I’m happy to say he progressed nicely and was able to be dismissed from therapy, I’m a little bummed that I won’t get to show him this new app! It’s perfect for those “three T”-loving kids.
Some research has shown that today’s children are less creative than previous generations, and many point their fingers at the digital era. It makes sense, to an extent. For example, a child who would have once been engaging in imaginative play with action figures and Beanie Babies is now playing with apps and video games. In a large majority of these digital games, imagination is not required; the goal is to win or earn points, and there are only a set number of ways to do so. Thankfully, I don’t think this shift is quite as terrible as some make it out to be. First, common sense parenting (and teaching and therapy) includes knowing how to provide balance–not letting kids play with an iPad every waking minute but realizing that the digital world provides some great opportunities, too. Second, that digital world is actually starting to allow more creativity on the part of the user. My PlayHome is a perfect example.