Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP. Over 33 years experience in AAC. OMazing Kids AAC and app consulting. Creator of several AAC Feature Matching resources (https://omazingkidsllc.com/omazing-kids-aac-resource-links/). Includes info about unique features to support Gestalt Language Processors
I have several patients who have a high interest in trains so this app is sure to get lots of use in OMazing Kids speech therapy. It has a simple intuitive interface and lots to explore. There are several opportunities for core vocabulary for AAC users (in/out, stop/go, fast/slow, on/off, more, etc…) as well as opportunities for other vocabulary and exploration when you stop the train and tap items in the background. Of course this app would need to be on a separate devicethan the one being used for AAC so the child can comment while playing.
My only wishes for a future app update are adding a way for the train to go in reverse to go back to see an item that passed by too quickly & an option to go directly to areas to add more passengers or cargo.
The app is well priced at $1.99. My guess is that might be a special intro price but will be watching their Facebook page for details.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the newest app from Dr. Panda for Technology in Education /Appymall! I have several of this developer’s apps and use them almost everyday in OMazing Kids speech therapy.
Here’s what I love about this new app:
There is a knock at the door but it doesn’t open to reveal which character is coming in until you tap it. This is fun to build anticipation. The character waves “hi” as they enter.
The app has an intuitive interface (easy to figure out where to tap and what to do). The arrows on the right and left sides of the screen lend themselves well to working on that basic concept as you chose which direction to go.
Extra large characters & items. This is great for kids with fine motor delays or visual impairment. It also made it easier to point out details such as body parts, bath toys, hygiene tools, etc. as I used this app to target speech and language goals.
I love the realistic feel of the characters in this app (in comparison to the flat sticker-like feel of characters in the Dr. Panda School and Dr. Panda Farm apps). The app includes 2 boy characters (Dr. Panda & Puppy) and 2 girl characters (Monkey & Kitty).
A symbol or two appear in the top right hand corner of the screen to tell you what that character needs. There are often other clues such as the character being dirty, wiping off their clothes, saying “Eww”, etc. This is great to work on perspective taking and inferencing. When 2 symbols appear, it’s a great opportunity to talk about what the character should do “first” and then “next”.
There are 7 areas in the app (door/entry area, closet, toilet, sink, laundry, bathtub, shower)
After using the toilet, the app automatically takes the character to wash their hands at a close up view of the sink.
The sink area is also for brushing teeth and in that mode has a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, spray cologne & a comb.
The shower has hot & cold water and the character reacts if it’s too hot or too cold. I also liked being able to remove the shower sprayer to spray all over the character.
The bathtub has a scuba mask and snorkel. So cute to get to make the character go under the water! I also love the toy (sometimes a boat & sometimes a rubber duck)
The closet has 5 outfit choices for the boys and 5 outfit choices for the girls.
A checkmark appears over the symbol in the top right corner when that task has been successfully completed. I immediately thought of my patients who use a visual schedule and how it would be fun to create a visual schedule to go along with this app.
When all the tasks have been completed and the character has been dressed, they go back to the doorway area. The door opens and they pause in the doorway. This provides the opportunity to tell the character “bye bye” before you tap them and they say “bye” as the leave. This is followed by a new character knocking on the door and a new series of opportunities appearing. The app appears to be randomized which makes for lots of fun options each time you use it.
The app has lots of opportunities for core vocabulary with AAC users (of course this app would have to be on a separate iPad from their “talker”). There are also tons of opportunities for other vocabulary, spatial concepts, adjectives, verbs, etc…. That’s why I love using apps like this in therapy!
The parent area is secured and contains options to easily toggle off/on the background music and sound effects separately from each other and to toggle off the promotion screen (when “on” it shows a pic of one of their other apps on the home screen. I personally toggle this off to prevent patients from becoming distracted). These features all make it sensory-friendly & special-needs friendly.
One of the most AWESOME features throughout the app is that the character’s eye gaze follows items as you move them on the screen. They even look up towards the checkmark as it’s added to a completed task. If you try to tap on an area that doesn’t make sense (such as the closet to get dressed while the character is still dirty), the character makes a surprised facial expression and looks up towards the symbol area to remind us what we still need to do. Most of my patients have Autism and often don’t tune it and follow like that so it will be super cool to see if this skill being modeled in an app leads to an increase in those skills as I infuse this app into their therapy.
Wishes for a future app update:
make it possible to rotate a character in the shower so you can wash their back.
add the hot/cold reaction to the bathtub like is currently seen in the shower.
add a few more outfit/clothing options. The drawers at the bottom open so that would be a good place to have extra outfits. Additional outfits could also be added by having separate choices for each character and by having additional choices rotate through as the app randomizes.
depict the characters spitting out the mouthwash by adding a swishing and spitting sound effect and action. I had one patient who thought the characters were drinking it (eek!)
Dr. Panda Bath Time by Dr. Panda Ltd https://appsto.re/us/iek0bb.i, iOS Universal, $2.99 (a bargain for a well designed app that could be used to target several speech and language goals)
There are also two Android versions. I haven’t tried those since I don’t have any devices on that platform but am sharing the links for those who do: