Apps and Toys

Learning Language with Early Comprehension Story Wheels

As an educator, I love exploring different educational products that can be used both in my home and for therapy with my students. After visiting my local Lakeshore Learning Educational Store, I found this great product called Early Comprehension Story Wheels. I love these story wheels because it incorporates both pictures and text. The activity … [Read more...]

Reducing Stress with Contimusic

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Tom and Christine Conti, the founders of Emotion Transitional Music Therapy. As a speech language pathologist who works with children and adults with varying disabilities, I have seen first hand the positive and calming effect of music on my clients, specifically those with Autism. Although Contimusic is … [Read more...]

Picture A Conversation

With the increase in technology, our face to face communication has decreased over time. We are communicating more and more via text messages, email and through social media than we are with face to face communication. As a result, our ability to converse with others and stay attentive to specific topics is becoming more challenging. At times, … [Read more...]

How to Supplement Your Child’s Museum Trip

I am excited to present this guest post written by Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom. Thank you … [Read more...]

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Slater Collins and Mo Moussa is the first book in the series of the Roxy Book App Series. This book includes 28 illustrated pages and can be read in English, Spanish and French. With the "tap to hear" feature, your child will be able to listen to this book in three different languages. This feature can help expose … [Read more...]

LaLa Lunchbox

With September approaching, it's back to packing lunches again! Do you have a child with allergies? How about a picky eater? How about a child that wants to choose their own packed lunch?  LaLa Lunchbox is a free, fun, functional and convenient app that can help you and your child decide what to pack for lunch with guidelines and a a variety … [Read more...]

Social Thinking…product reviews plus a link to attend a conference…

As a speech language pathologist, I treat many children and adults with social cognitive learning challenges. Many individuals with varying diagnoses struggle with pragmatic language skills that impact their ability to build strong relationships with their peers and interact with others in their environment. Diagnoses such as Autism, genetic … [Read more...]

Bluebee Pals review plus Speech and Language Goals

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to encourage social language, expressive language and play? Check out one of my new favorite therapy tools, Bluebee Pals!  What is a Bluebee Pal? A Bluebee Pal is a plush educational learning tool that can be connected to a tablet, phone or computer via bluetooth. Once connected to a device (such as an … [Read more...]

Increase Calm and Focus with MeMoves

Are you looking for a quick way to help your child increase their focus and calm their bodies?  In the crazy and busy lives that we live, it's hard to find the time to calm our bodies and focus on one task at a time.  If it is hard for us as adults, it's even more challenging for our children! I have seen many programs that can help a child … [Read more...]

Do You Like Pie? Improving Speech through Music

Do you have a child with apraxia? How about a speech and language delay? Check out this CD, titled Do You Like Pie? by Pam Marshalla, speech language pathologist. The CD includes 10 songs that help facilitate speech that can be used in the car, at home, in therapy or on the go. Each song has repeating phonemes, syllables and words, which can help … [Read more...]

Eeboo Story Cards

Do you want to help improve your child's ability to sequence and tell a story? Putting pictures together and creating a story in a logical order is an important part of language development for a young child. We use our sequencing skills all day from our daily schedule to relaying a story to a friend. I love Eeboo Story Cards because they are … [Read more...]

MimiQ Card Game

Do you have a child with childhood apraxia or speech? Does your child have trouble imitating movements, sounds or facial expressions? Are you looking for a fun and simple game that will help your child work on imitation, following directions and turn taking? Try this game called MimiQ. I bought this game at a toy store a couple of months ago … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Monica Wellington

Do you want to teach your child a different language? How about expose his or her to artwork in Paris with a fun and engaging app? I  am excited to present children's book writer and illustrator, Monica Wellington. Monica is a talented author and illustrator with over 40 books in print including Crêpes by Suzette and Colors for Zena. Both her … [Read more...]

Crêpes by Suzette App

Do you want your child to learn new languages? How about exposing them to art and the city of Paris? Check out Crêpes by Suzette by Monica Wellington! I am excited to review this app created by Monica Wellington called Crêpes by Suzette. (currently priced at $1.99).  About two years ago, I reviewed the book, Crêpes by Suzette. The illustrations … [Read more...]

Kimochis….Social and Emotional Learning

What are Kimochis? Kimochi means "feeling" in Japanese. I participated in a wonderful workshop given by a fellow speech language pathologist, Ellen Dodge regarding social emotional intelligence and competence. I wasn't sure what to expect when I took this conference for continuing education credit. Within ten minutes of being at the workshop, I was … [Read more...]

Sensory Activities at the Table

Do you have a child with Sensory Processing Disorder? Are you looking for some fun sensory activities the table with your child? According to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, "Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and … [Read more...]

Lego Crayons with Language Tips

Over the February break, my son and I had some time to do some crafts (there was a lot of snow outside). I bought Lego molds many months ago but never used it. I always wanted to try making my own crayons and I thought it would be even cooler if I could make Lego crayons! We simply took leftover broken crayons, took the wrappers off and went to … [Read more...]

Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job

Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job is an excellent picture book to introduce the topic of the "dream job". Have you asked your child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My family and I recently visited the Monterey Aquarium,  where I purchased this picture book. Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job by David G. … [Read more...]

Great Bike Giveaway: Enter To Win a Free Adaptive Bike!

Do you remember the freedom you felt, the confidence you gained, the pride you had when you received your first bike? The Great Bike Giveaway will help give children with special needs the same feeling you had when that shiny new bike arrived at your home. For the forth consecutive year Friendship Circle is holding the Great Bike Giveaway, a … [Read more...]

Flip ‘N’ Check

Are you traveling over the vacation? Are you looking for a fun non electronic option for your child? Try Flip 'N' Check! A couple of weeks ago when I was doing an author event for The Monkey Balloon at Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, I met Pam Chmiel, the co-founder of this fun and inventive dry erase activity game. When I first arrived at the … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Facilitate Language with Holiday Cards

Are you receiving tons of holiday cards from families and friends? Most people receive holiday cards and post them on a nearby bulletin board or display them around their house. Holiday cards can be a great language activity because they are free, arrive spontaneously in the mail, are all different, are attractive, and have a connection with you … [Read more...]

Gravitybread Presents Geraldine Moran

Have you ever wondered how to create your own app? How about your own therapy app? I asked Geraldine Moran, a fellow speech language pathologist some questions about how she created her app, Actions in Video and any plans for the future!  To see my review of Actions in Video, click here. To check out Actions in Video website, click … [Read more...]

Building Language with Mr. and Ms. Food Plates

Do you struggle at mealtime with your children? As parents we have all had our challenging meals and want to make mealtime a fun and relaxing experience. On top of making it fun and relaxing, it's even more ideal when we can facilitate language and help build our children's skills when spending time together. I wanted to share these Mr. and Mrs. … [Read more...]

Actions In Video

Do you have a child with special needs that struggles with language and building sentences for functional speech? Is your child minimally verbal or have problems with syntax? I wanted to share an excellent app that I have found to be very useful in therapy called Actions in Video. This app was created by speech therapist named Geraldine Moran … [Read more...]

Healthy Helpings A MyPlate Game

Do you want to teach your children the food groups? Try playing this game; Healthy Helpings, A MyPlate Game. When I was investigating some resources for training staff at my work about nutrition, I came across this game on Amazon. My close friend who is a registered dietitian, Allison Topilow recommended the site choosemyplate.gov for valuable … [Read more...]

Magical Book Reader, a review with language tips!

Are you a speech language pathologist who is looking for a new therapy tool? Are you a parent who wants your child to become more excited about books?  Try this Magical Book Reader! I was contacted by Magical Book Readers company a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled when I received it in the mail. After checking out their website, I was … [Read more...]

iPrompts Pro, A Review

Do you have a child with special needs? Are you looking for an app to create social stories? Are you also looking for an app with visual supports and videos that can model appropriate social behavior? What is a social story? From my perspective, I would define a social story as  a story or script that you create in order to model a certain … [Read more...]

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is a free app created by Sesame Workshop that can help a young child (appropriate for ages 2 to 5) learn how to breathe, calm down and work through stressful everyday challenges. In one situation, Little Monster has trouble putting on his shoes. He is getting very frustrated. What should he do to work through his … [Read more...]

Sneak a Snack

Has anyone ever stolen your snack and you didn't know who it was? In my house if it isn't my husband, it's definitely my hound dog. Sneak A Snack HD ($2.99 for iPad version, $.99 cents for iPhone/iPod version) is an interactive story of a boy named Alexander who makes a super deluxe snack downstairs but gets distracted and has to run upstairs to … [Read more...]

Story Smart 2: Casey’s Big Day

Casey's Big Day is another innovative app from Ruby Cube Inc. See my last review for Trudy Goes to the Beach. Casey has anxiety about his first day of 5th grade. As the player, your child will help get Casey successfully through the day. As your child chooses the correct responses, the visuals change to reflect your answer. This app is optimal … [Read more...]

Story Smart Book1: Trudy Goes to the Beach

Story Smart Books ($3.99) by Ruby Cube Inc has created wonderful story apps to help improve language skills, reading comprehension, social skills, narrative skills and literacy. They are targeted for children with autism, ADHD and other social challenges who are literate but can be also used for children who are typical as well.  However, if your … [Read more...]

Kid in Story Book Maker

Do you want to help build your child's narrative and sequencing skills? Try this app, "Kid In Story" ($6.99). It is a great app to help build your child's ability to create and retell stories. This app is  super easy to create stories and is very child friendly (and parent friendly)! The next time you are making a fun dessert or engaging in a fun … [Read more...]

In-Sync Activity Cards

Does your child have trouble sitting down at meals? Does your child also have sensory processing issues? If so, check out these In-Sync Activity Cards that are made for children with sensory processing issues. I think many parents struggle to have their child sit down at a meal especially those who have hyperactive children with  sensory processing … [Read more...]

Cute Food – Cooking App for Kids

Cute Food - Cooking App for Kids ($1.99) is a fun app that can help children explore different fruits and vegetables in a creative and artistic way.  With this app, your kids can be a little chef and make their own little creations with 200 + choices of pieces of various fruits and vegetables. Your child can pick their own plate, tablecloth and … [Read more...]

i.. Get Cooking Vocabulary….

i...Get..Cooking Vocabulary and Create Recipe Photo Sequencing Books App ($4.99) is an educational app that can help improve life skills within the kitchen. The vocabulary photo books include; cooking supplies, cooking actions and kitchen appliances which offer many teaching opportunities for speech and language development. It also comes with a … [Read more...]

Making Sequences

Does your child need help with her or his sequencing skills? Making Sequences ($4.99) is a  simple educational app to use for practicing sequencing and narrative skills. I also use this app for assessment and therapy with both children and young adults. I love this app because it is super easy to modify and add your own sequences. When cooking with … [Read more...]

Eating Safely

I discovered this app, Eating Safely a couple of weeks ago when searching for a functional app to help teach safety in the kitchen. This life skills app helps guide children through step by step instructions in preparing meals and using appliances in the kitchen safely. Since my little one loves to "help" with the dishwasher, I reviewed the steps … [Read more...]

I See-quence…The Grocery Store

Do you ever have difficulty bringing your child to the supermarket? I See-quence....The Grocery Story ($2.99) by igetitapp.com is a functional and educational app that can help children and adolescents understand the process of visiting the grocery store while making it an enriching and productive experience.   Most children go to the grocery store … [Read more...]

Tiny Dentist

Does your child like to go to the dentist? Tiny Dentist ($1.99 but was free for a limited time when I downloaded) is an app that gives your child control of cleaning teeth with all of the fun duties of being a dentist. Your child can pick a character, decorate their teeth, remove their teeth, color the fillings in and much more.  It takes a bit of … [Read more...]

VisualList

VisualList (free or upgrade to 99 cents) is a very useful and excellent app to have on your iPhone, iTouch or iPad. It can be used in many different ways and for a variety of functions. I set up a grocery list with pictures of the items that I needed (you can either get the images online or take the photo yourself). When I arrived at the … [Read more...]

Grandma’s Garden

Grandma's Garden (99 cents) is a fun and educational app that will entertain both you and your children. With this app, you have the ability to work on the following concepts: counting, matching, expanding vocabulary, colors, literacy, shapes, following directives, memory recall, and problem solving. This app is wonderful to introduce and/or … [Read more...]

Yum Yum Crafty Fun

Yum Yum Crafty Fun is a fun and creative toy that is appropriate for a child ages 3 and up. This  toy comes with crafts to create a pie, cookies, ice cream cone, cake, pizza and much more (contains 12 activities). I love that each project is wrapped separately (anything to help organize me is good!). With these various projects, you can work on … [Read more...]

ABC Food

ABC Food ($2.99) is a educational and fun app that is ideal for children ages four and up. Learning concepts include exploring vocabulary,  extending vocabulary, improving phonemic awareness and learning various actions associated with various foods. The app also includes more than 100 videos and over 70 interactive scenes. I was playing this app … [Read more...]

Make a Meal Sticker Pad

I found Make a Meal Sticker Pad (ages 3 and up) by Melissa and Doug the other day at the pharmacy and immediately bought it. This toy is very versatile because it is gender friendly and can be used with a variety of ages.  When using this sticker pad, I had each of my children pick a place mat that they wanted (work on colors and patterns). Then I … [Read more...]

More Thanksgiving!

Need some help in the kitchen on Thanksgiving??? Have your child help prepare thanksgiving with this app from Maverick Software LLC. I really like the apps from Maverick because the concrete pictures of the food and the accurate sequencing of how to make specific foods. With this app, your child can make their own main dish (turkey, ham), side … [Read more...]

Lunch Box Game

The Lunch Box Game (3-7 years old) is a fun and educational game that can easily be played during snack time or after a meal. With this game, your child can help build pragmatic language skills (e.g. turn taking, maintaining topic) and improve visual awareness (by finding the particular item in their lunchbox). With this game, you can also target … [Read more...]

Dr. Panda’s Restaurant

Dr. Panda's Restaurant ($1.99) is a fun and functional app that will keep your little one busy in the kitchen without making a mess. It's fun, simple and not overstimulating like some other apps that I seen.  It teaches your child how to clean dishes, prepare specific dishes (such as scrambled eggs, sauteed vegetables, pizza) and how to recycle … [Read more...]

Cupcake Game

Cupcake Game (5 years and up) by Eeboo is a fun and interactive game that both you and your child will enjoy in a variety of ways. The object of the game is to collect all of your ingredients first before anyone else. This game naturally focuses primarily on categorization  (dry ingredients, wet ingredients, etc) in order to make  your cupcake.  I … [Read more...]

Creativity Fun: Kitchen

Creativity Fun: Kitchen will keep you and your child busy for hours. This book is full of fun activities to do with your child including coloring, cutting, gluing and lots of stickers. Creativity Fun Kitchen is geared towards food and cooking in the kitchen. I have been working on this book with my daughter every morning for the past three days and … [Read more...]

Preschool EduKitchen

Preschool EduKitchen is a fun and entertaining educational app to play with your child ages 3-5 (priced at $1.99). It incorporates many learning concepts to teach your child including categorization, matching, expanding vocabulary, following directions, counting, arranging food from large to small (or vice versa) and many others. There are 18 games … [Read more...]

Crazy Faces

Crazy Faces (ages 5 and up) by Eeboo is great game to play during mealtime or any other play time. You can play it as instructed (Crazy 8's) or you can play it many other ways. The first way that I played it was to show the cards during mealtime and my kids would have to guess what the food is. We also worked on feelings by me asking them "How is … [Read more...]

Easy Bake Treats

Easy Bake Treats app is free! First great thing. Memories of easy bake oven growing up, second great thing! Great for ages 3 and up. When I saw this app I was excited because I loved the graphics. They were simple and the photographs were so realistic. My son even tried to eat the cupcake off the screen (I am NOT kidding!). After some cleaning of … [Read more...]

Color Monster – Learn the Colors

Color Monster - Learn the Colors (ages 2 +) ($2.99) is an educational and fun app that helps your child learn  colors, matching and following directions. When the color monster starts, the monster says "Let me try something (names color) and the child has to feed the monster that particular color fruit. The monster also turns the color of the fruit … [Read more...]

Step by Story: Happy Family in the Kitchen

Happy Family in the Kitchen is a fun and educational app that I recently downloaded from the app store. I love apps that encourage a child to create and tell stories in a fun and playful manner. This app is ideal for a child ages 2.5-5. The app begins with three sections, "Play", "Make" and "Silly".  In the "Make" section the child has to fill in … [Read more...]

Eeboo Good Manners Cards

Eeboo Good Manners Flash Cards (ages 3 and up but you can easily introduce this to a child about 2.5 to 3) is an excellent game to play while having a meal with your children.  I originally bought these flashcards years ago to use with the teenagers that I see at work. I pulled these out the other day and realized what a great activity this was to … [Read more...]

Toca Kitchen Monsters

 Toca Kitchen Monsters by Toca Boca is a fun and entertaining app for both children and their parents. When I first came across this app I decided to download it considering I love all of the Toca apps. When you begin this app, you choose a monster. Once you choose a monster, you can choose a food from the left side of the screen. Once you choose a … [Read more...]

Egg Activity

I recently found "Small World Express Egg Shape Sorter" toy in my closet. I had put it away when my children were babiesI decided to give it a test drive. My kids loved it and have been playing with it all week. Its a great way to work on sorting, colors, shapes and fine motor manipulation.  After playing with the eggs for awhile, we decided to … [Read more...]

I Never Forget a Face Memory Game

 I bought "I Never Forget a Face Memory Game" by Feboo the other day and  love it. This game is created for a child 36 months to 10 years old. My daughter and I played this game at the kitchen table when having breakfast. It a great tabletop game that can be played during a light meal or snack time. "I Never Forget a Face" is an excellent game to … [Read more...]

Suggestions on optimal learning experience

I think that writing a short article about some suggestions on using the iPad (or other electronic tools) with your child can be useful for many parents. Some of these suggestions I have learned as a professional and others I have learned as a parent. I hope these recommendations help make this a bonding and learning experience for you and your … [Read more...]

Tell Me a Story – Animal Village

Tell me a Story is an excellent toy that can be used in many different ways. Most recently, we have been using this toy during mealtime (specifically breakfast). The toy includes 36 flashcards with various animals in various settings doing a variety of different things (e.g playing music, baking, etc). We begin by setting up 2-5 cards (depending on … [Read more...]