Archive for January, 2017

{App Review} 3 great apps from PlayToddlers: My First Words, Happy Daycare Stories & Find It: Hidden Objects

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{App Review} 3 great apps from PlayToddlers: My First Words, Happy Daycare Stories & Find It: Hidden Objects

I love using well designed apps in speech therapy! Here are three new additions to my toolbox at OMazing Kids:

* My First Words – by Play Toddlers by Guillermo Fernandez Gonzalez
https://appsto.re/us/y32g-.i, iOS Universal, $2.99

I love using “face up” matching apps to work on vocabulary & matching without having the extra component of memory required for hidden matching. This app has over 120 pictures presented in a field of 8 in 14 categories (animals, clothes, at home, toys, body parts, bedroom, colors, family, outdoors, food, at school, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, tools), fun cartoon-like graphics, an intuitive interface, the option to easily toggle off background music but still have voiceovers on, each picture is named as it is tapped and again when it is matched correctly, there are no aversive sound effects or verbal feedback if the picture is placed in the wrong place, the placement of pictures on each screen is randomized each time to prevent a child from memorizing where they go. App includes options for English, Spanish & Portuguese. This app will definitely get LOTS of use in my SLP toolbox!

* Happy Daycare Stories – by PlayToddlers by Guillermo Fernandez Gonzalez
https://appsto.re/us/kP_Edb.i, iOS Universal, $2.99

I love using open-ended play apps to teach vocabulary, actions, spatial concepts, turn taking & more. It reminds me a little of Dr. Panda Daycare but I love that this app has 5 adorable kids instead of animals. This app has really cool 3D cartoon-like graphics, several fun areas to explore (playground area (with a pool, swing, rocking ride on giraffe, balloons and potted flowers to water), playroom (with a 2-seat train that the kids can ride, blocks, books, dolls, music player, balls, etc.), a kitchen (with realistic food items, sound effects for eating/drinking, stove, silverware, refillable water pitcher, refrigerator, drawers/cabinets that can be opened and closed, etc), a music room (with instruments, costumes & a stage), a bedroom (with beds, blankets that send the child to sleep when pulled up, stuffed animals, relaxing color scheme and mobile, etc.), a bathroom (with tub, toilet, sinks, dirty clothes hamper, bath toys, bubbles, etc.), and a second outdoor patio area (with fruit stand, fruit smoothie blender, frog pond, flowers, pinwheel, apple tree, etc.), the option to toggle off separately from most sound effects, and an intuitive interface (arrows make it clear his to get to the next area). The only wishes I have for a future app update would be to make the headphones and scuba mask removeable so other kids could use them, allow the music player to work when the app background music is toggled off and to add a blender sound and the ability to add more than 1 fruit at a time to the fruit smoothie blender. App includes options for English, Spanish & Portuguese. This app is chock full of great language opportunities and will definitely get LOTS of use in my therapy toolbox!

* Find It : Hidden Objects for Children & Toddlers by Guillermo Fernandez Gonzalez, https://appsto.re/us/2fY1G.i, iOS Universal, $1.99

(will add app trailer video here if they make one)

Find hidden items in 24 different themed areas. I love that the app has three levels of difficulty (the “easy” level will be great for most of my patients), the fun illustrations and how the themes are stored in tubs with a illustration on the front to tell kids what’s in that tub (this will also be great for inferencing to have kids predict what’s in the tub based on that picture). I personally love hidden picture apps but most are way too hard for the kids I see. This app is the perfect level and full of lots of great vocabulary. App includes options for English, Spanish & Portuguese. Another great addition to my speechie toolbox!
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See more of their apps at: http://www.playtoddlers.com
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Follow them on social media:
https://www.facebook.com/PlayToddlers
https://www.twitter.com/PlayToddlers
http://instagram.com/playtoddlers
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

{App Review} Let’s Expand Vocabulary

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{App Review} Let’s Expand Vocabulary

Check out this fun new SLP-designed app! I always have patients who are working on categorization skills so it’s cool to have another tool to help work on that. The app has fun colorful graphics, an intuitive interface, includes 4 activities (Odd One Out, Matching Pairs, Label the Category & Add Another One), ability to select level of difficulty separately in each activity, two simple mini reinforcer games & the option to easily toggle off background music. Right now the voice & vocabulary are in Northern Ireland English but the developer is working on adding USA English soon.

The only wishes I have for a future app update are an option to adjust the frequency of the reinforcer mini games (currently only 5 work items are required to play the game. I’d like 10 added as an option. It would also be cool to be able to go directly to a game to be able to use it as a reinforcer in other activities), errorless learning strategies (for example, if the child gets an incorrect answer rather than giving the thumbs down and wrong answer sound effect it would be nice for the app to provide a subtle visual cue for the correct response and info about why that is the correct response. This would help “teach” the skills rather than just test them. The app gets challenging and there were a few items where even I was not sure why a particular answer was “correct”) and of course the USA English option. The current price seems slightly high since the app doesn’t have the option to set up individual users or have data collection (features most SLPs start to expect in apps priced at $5.99 or higher). Overall this is a nice app to add to your SLP toolbox 😊

Purchase on the App Store: Let’s Expand Vocabulary by Ruth Crampton, https://appsto.re/us/Pvlmgb.i, iPad only, $6.99 (current price in the USA App Store)

Website: http://www.expandingcommunication.org/tablet/index.html

Follow them on social media:
https://facebook.com/LetUsExpandCommunication
https://twitter.com/App_Lets_Expand
https://www.instagram.com/app_lets_expand/
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

Toontastic App News & Tips

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{Toontastic App News & Tips} There was lots of buzz in the app world today about the release of the new Toontastic 3D app (https://appsto.re/us/uIoqeb.i). Very exciting to see a new app but I immediately wondered if the beloved original Toontastic apps were still available. These are mainstays for language and storytelling on many speechie iPads.

I just checked the USA App Store and was sad to see that as of the time of this post both the original Toontastic and Toontastic Jr. Pirates apps had been removed as options for new downloads.

Fortunately both are still available out in the cloud at the time of this post if you had previously downloaded them.

  • If these are apps your students / patients are accustomed to using in speech therapy sessions, I would highly suggest immediately downloading both and then backing up that device by plugging it into a computer on iTunes.

My guess is that both of those older apps may eventually disappear all together. Which would be unfortunate since according to the App Store description it appears that the new Toontastic 3D app only works on newer devices running iOS 9.0 or higher.

Many schools and facilities like the one where I work are still using older iPads that the new app won’t work on. If this is the case for you, consider this your “heads up” to get the original apps while they are still in the cloud.

Okay…. So thoughts about the new app? I’ve explored it a bit today. Yes the 3D graphics are cool and the transitions between scenes are a bit smoother but there are far fewer choices for scene backgrounds & characters. My hope is they eventually add more but I’m definitely keeping the original versions of the Toontastic apps installed too so I don’t lose them.
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

2017 Kidmunicate’s 100 top blogs and websites for SLPs ~ OMazing Kids on the list again

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It is an honor and blessing to see OMazing Kids on the list again this year! That’s three years in a row. 2016 was quite a year on OMazing Kids. As we start 2017, OMazing Kids has had a total of 1,245,083 hits on the blog, 12,984 followers on Facebook, 1,684 followers on Twitter, 2,753 followers on Pinterest, 143 subscribers on YouTube and 443 followers on Instagram (just started exploring that social media platform in 2016.

I invite you to check out all the fabulous blogs and websites on the list. It’s a great way to find new SLP sites to follow: http://kidmunicate.com/100-top-blogs-and-websites-for-speech-and-language-pathology-for-2017

Their description of my blog this year made me laugh since I had no idea I wrote that many posts in 2016 and couldn’t do a headstand to save my soul…. lol! I actually avoid any inversions like that with patients due to the contraindications for kids with seizures and several other diagnoses.

Out of all my blog posts this year, here are the 8 posts that I spent countless hours writing with the intent of passing along knowledge and resources to other speechies as I am getting closer to retirement:

1) To help SLPs find iPad apps useful in our work, this mega post is sorted by goal area and only contains apps that I have personally used and are still currently available. I’m in the process of adding several more apps to the list. The post about this list has gone viral on my Facebook page:

 

I knew there was a big need for this list… but to see that over 75,000 folks have seen the post so far blows my mind. https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/12/31/the-ipad-the-slp-in-2017-app-list-for-slps-sorted-by-goal-area/

2) Because every child deserves a “voice” and I was seeing way too many posts from fellow SLPs who thought their only options were to try free or very cheap AAC apps with kids, I spent hours compiling get this post to help spread the word about how they can get FREE access to several robust AAC apps as well as info about potential funding sources: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/06/11/aac-tips-how-slps-can-get-free-access-to-aac-apps-aac-app-user-groups-funding-options-more/

3 & 4) Because every child deserves to be able to play games: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/07/26/adapted-games-for-inclusive-play-candy-land/ & https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/07/28/no-prep-slp-tips-candy-land/

5) To help enlighten folks to the amazing potential of the iPad as a tool in the SLP toolbox: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/06/09/the-ipad-the-slp-toolbox/

6) To share an example of how I teach these challenging concepts through a combination of visual supports & AAC: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/05/18/teaching-prepositions-spatial-concepts-free-printable-preposition-and-spatial-concept-activity-cards-for-the-fisher-price-laugh-learn-puppys-activity-home-and-gotalk-now-plus-aac-templ/

7) Because I’ve been doing this for 27 years and had no idea that there was research about a developmental sequence for acquisition of irregular past tense verbs. Totally changed how I teach them: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/05/11/free-printable-irregular-past-tense-cards-research-on-developmental-sequence/

8) Because I still enjoy combining kids yoga & great kids picture books to help kids with special needs to see they are wonderful just as they are: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/01/06/a-color-of-his-own-the-mixed-up-chameleon-lesson-plan-ideas-free-printables/
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I look forward to seeing what 2017 had in store!
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.