Looking for apps to use in your early intervention work? There are literally thousands out there, so making a selection can be daunting.
Before you start tapping the "buy" button on your iPad or other tablet, consider the specific learning goals you want to address, then look for apps that have been well designed with toddlers in mind.
Five apps have improved my work with toddlers. Here they are:
Injini: Child Development Game Suite by Ncsoft ($29.99 for iOS) was developed specifically for the early-intervention population of toddlers with cognitive, language and fine-motor delays. It has 10 beautifully designed games. Each game is leveled, which allows you to select the appropriate ability level to fit the needs of the child you are working with. It's very useful for early intervention.
Articulation Station by Little Bee Speech (free for iOS) targets sounds in six engaging activities. It has a clean, user-friendly design and beautiful images. The "p" sound program comes as part of the free trial, with the other 21 sound programs available to purchase as needed from within the app. You can sort words by syllable length and create custom word lists. The app has options to record and save audio and to track data. It's fun and comprehensive.
Bitsboard by Grasshopper Apps (free for iOS iPad only) is a flashcard app that is truly remarkable. With access to more than 100,000 quality images, you can create your own boards and access boards that others have created. You can work with your boards as flashcards or in a picture identification activity. You can also use it to spell words or create sentences. You will be amazed at the possibilities.
Story Creator by Alligator Apps (free for iOS) allows you to create talking photo albums—with photos, videos, text and audio—that are great for creating social stories or working on almost any language goals. For example, you could make "A Book About Me" targeting the pronouns "I" and "me," using images and videos of the child. Let your creative genius shine with stories that will make your lessons even more engaging.
Sound Touch by Sound Touch Interactive ($4.99 for iOS and Android) is great for teaching toddlers to associate pictures of objects to their sounds. Little ones simply tap on a cartoon image, and a photo image appears while a sound clip plays. It has 360 photos and associated sounds in six categories, including farm animals and musical instruments. This app is simple and fun to use.
These are just a few of the many excellent apps available. What makes these stand out are the varying levels of customization, allowing you to target each child's specific language goals.
When researching apps for treatment, I look for apps that are well designed, easy to use, engaging and customizable. As you search for and discover apps to enhance your treatment sessions, be sure to share them, so you can help others find their way in a constantly changing market.