In planning this post, we asked the staff of our day programs (kindergartens and school for special education) to name the apps they currently find the most useful. Here is what they had to say:Tiny Tap
Excellent platform for creating personalized games, stories and photo albums that can be used as part of lessons or for communication and leisure. Games can be shared privately with other tablets by email or uploaded to the TinyTap market for public use. The market is searchable and contains an extensive collection of pre-made games that can be downloaded to your device and edited for personal use.
AAC app with text-to-speech technology. Allows for creation of complex and dynamic communication boards. Boards can also be created to support lessons.
Easy to use platform for creating mini-games from a set of personalized photos. The user inserts photos, text, and voice recordings and the app provides a variety of game templates that can be played with them. Photo sets can also be downloaded from the app collection and edited for personal use.
A platform to easily and quickly create photo albums from photos and videos in the camera roll or by using the camera directly from the app. Text and voice recordings are easily added. The pro version has a number of different page layouts.
A very cute and popular pretend play app – the child chooses a character and can play with it in four common daily activities: bath time, laundry, bathroom, and washing hands and face.
A pretend play app focusing on preparing food. The characters are whimsical and humorous. The child can choose from a variety of food in the fridge and prepare it in a variety of ways. This app comes from the popular series of apps created by Toca Boca.
A unique drawing app that records the drawing process and allows for playback. It also records any sounds made during the drawing. It is a great app for using in a group and for reconstructing and reviewing the working process.
A musical cause and effect app from HelpKidzLearn, a division of InclusiveTechnology, developer of software and assistive devices for computers and idevices. An excellent game for working on motor accuracy, as the child needs to find and touch the character hiding on the screen. Once the character is touched it jumps to the center of the screen and plays a short music clip. The characters are amusing and the music is engaging. The high contrast makes this also a nice game for children with visual impairments.
An interactive storybook, by Touchoo, about Benny the Cat and the things he does during the day. Benny is a loveable character and kids love to listen to the story and engage in the interactive games and activities.
A simple matching game that requires matching of objects in different categories. It is one of a large collection of apps by MyFirstApp, a company that develops simple games to develop cognitive skills such as matching, categorizing, and sequencing. The games are intuitive with engaging illustrations yet remain visually simple with clean backgrounds. We use these apps extensively in our programs and have found them to be useful both with children and adults functioning at a variety of levels.