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 found this app when I worked with a little boy whose life revolved around the three T’s: tractors, trucks, and trains. Here are some ways I have used it and my thoughts on its quality and usefulness.
What It Is: A farm scene with interactive animals, equipment, and people by Ubstar.
Any of you #slpeeps involved in Twitter have probably seen this app touted as “the app that kids can’t play alone.” I was intrigued and, okay, a little skeptical. Thankfully, I downloaded it and was pleasantly surprised. 🙂
What It Is: Developer all4mychild‘s interesting spin on the game of 20 Questions.
Because this app is so (intentionally) similar to the Cookie Doodle app, I debated whether or not it was appropriate to write a separate review for it. But then I realized that 1. it’s my birthday, so I get to do what I want 🙂 and 2. it’s going to be pretty hard for all of you to make me cakes all around the world, so I’d better make your lives easier by showing you a digital version. 😉 (Insert sigh of relief.) Enjoy your baking!
What It Is: A cake-making (and -decorating) app by Shoe the Goose (the same ones who made Cookie Doodle).
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.
Unlike most of my posts, which are inspired by my experiences in therapy, this app review was inspired by a recent graduate aphasia class where each student discussed a different type of treatment. One of my classmates presented Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA), which involves cueing a client with word-finding difficulties to produce words that are semantically related to the target word. (E.g. if the target word is dog, the client would be prompted to produce what category it is in, what it looks like, what it reminds them of, etc.) So, here’s my thoughts on how the iPad could be incorporated into therapy using this technique.
What It Is: A way to make individualized mind maps by Notion, Inc.
What It Is: A collection of interactive stories (and a memory game) by Ruta Ett based on a TV show. Each story is about a different vehicle (police car, seaplane, digger, etc.) and its jobs and daily activities.