We shared last week that we have been heavily engrossed in starting a school program for Annie and Brody. In keeping with that theme, this week we’d like to tell you about our top 5 educational apps. In no particular order they are:
BrainPOP was conceived by Avraham Kadar, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician, as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients. They have a BrainPOP Junior version for kindergarten to 3rd grade and another version for older children. It’s great because it covers every subject imaginable: science, social studies, english, math, arts and music, health, and technology. Currently, we are both are too cheap to pay the monthly subscription price so we just have the free version of the app. However, we plan to get the full access subscription for Annie and Brody as Christmas gifts. http://www.brainpop.com/
Great for children with auditory processing issues and receptive/expressive language delays. The children are presented with real life pictures and are asked to record their own sentence(s) based on the picture. There are 3 different levels of difficulty and the children can get a visual or verbal hint. Cheapskate Leah actually splurged and spent $9.99 on this app and she feels it has been well worth the money. Even more shocking, she might open her wallet again and spend $19.99 on Conversation Builder (see below). Consider that a strong endorsement! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/languagebuilder-for-ipad/id405801365?mt=8
Good for children who struggle to carry on back and forth conversations. The app shows images of children in social settings and the user is prompted to initiate a conversation (by recording his/her voice) to join in on what the children are doing in the picture. Hints are provided if needed. If the user is successfully able to join the children, (s)he is then asked another question by the children in the app. In this way the user gets to practice peer interaction in an engaging and non-threatening way. Annie has used this app with her ABA therapist this school year and she loves it! She requests to talk to her “kid friends on the iPAD” every time we go to therapy. I (Molly) truly feel it has helped Annie get better at initiating and maintaining conversations.
Empowers kids to draw, animate, and narrate their own cartoons and share them. But this isn’t just about children creating fun cartoons. It teaches them the fundamentals of story telling (setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution). We both especially love this app because it’s… FREE! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toontastic-play-create-learn!/id404693282?mt=8
SpellingCity is a fun way to learn spelling and vocabulary words by playing engaging learning games using any word list (i.e., you can type in your child’s spelling list given to you by the school). Annie’s favorite games are: Missing Letter, Word Scramble, and Hang Mouse. It is a pain-free way to get her to practice her spelling/vocabulary words. Another fabulously free app! Leah doesn’t have it yet and will be downloading the app as soon as we finish writing this post. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellingcity/id538407602?mt=8
Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite apps, we need your help. Brody is a math “genius” (Molly is saying this, Leah disagrees with this statement and is very uncomfortable right now) but Annie really struggles with math. She says she can’t do it and she is “stupid” in math. Both Leah and I are desperately searching to find a good math app that our children will do without us torturing them. The app doesn’t have to be free, we’d even cough up some money for this one. Has anyone come across such an app? All recommendations are welcome!