I thought this week I would write about some of the great apps available to support older children with their language development. There are so many apps out there it can be hard to know where to start! Apps designed for pre-schoolers and younger children are advertised and seem much easier to find. Whereas apps for older children who need to practise specific language skills are harder to find – I know I have spent more time looking for them. So to save you looking, here are some of my favourites!
This is a mind map app. I believe it is currently £3.99 on the iPad. I find this really useful for children who need to plan and rehearse what they want to say before they write. You can easily move the thought bubbles around, so they can write the ideas down as they think of them, but then move them and sequence them afterwards. You then have a written plan! Here are some examples from one young man I work with. We had a play and fiddled with the colours here! You can also email the finished result.
Let’s learn emotions
This is a recent discovery! It is currently £2.99. You have a few different game styles available from the main menu, but they all support understanding of emotions. The first game matches emotion words to facial expressions. You can select the number and range of emotions you want to target and the pictures are lovely. You also have a great discussion game where you have to think of a time you felt a certain way, or think of another way to describe an emotion. Worth a look for £2.99!!
Winning words – Synonym match.
Helen found this one. It’s really hard – I have to concentrate when I play it!! It a simple pairs game but you have to match synonyms (words that mean the same or similar). This is great for children from about 10 up who need to improve their vocabulary. In the easy level, you have words like leave/ exit, clever/ smart – not too bad! On the hard level you have words like compulsory/ obligatory, fickle/ capricious. I know I also worked on dictionary skills when I played this game with one young lady – so we practised looking up words we didn’t know!!
Winning words also have other apps for antonyms, compound words, homophones etc Have a look.
Lucky Gecko Apps – Synonym match, antonym match and odd one out
This is a slightly easier synonym matching app and the company also do an antonym and odd one out currently £1.99 each). Simple little question and answer apps, but they provide a good range of vocabulary for discussion.
I love the actual game of this. You can read my review here. But there is also an app (Isn’t there always!) It’s a great fun game and up to 4 players can play at once. It’s amazing how having to name the items under pressure makes it so much harder. Again you can adjust the hardness and there are different styles of game. Currently £1.99.
These are my current favourites! What apps do you like to use?