Myfirstapp make a great range of apps for younger children. They are given an age rating and graded in nice small steps. The apps are free to install and you normally get two playable levels with the download. You would then need to purchase the rest of levels-£1.49 for another 10 levels. I find this useful as you can trial the app first before you have to pay and see if it is appropriate for you needs.
Some are just well graded apps for younger children, however there are many that I find really useful in the therapy with a range of ages. My favourite are the ‘sort it out 1’ and ‘sort it out 2’. Each app has 12 levels in total (2 free and 10 paid levels). They offer a range of items to group into semantic categorise. One of the most popular with the children I work with is the transport level, where you have to group items into sky, road or sea. Each item has to be dragged to the appropriate place. If you put the item in the wrong place it jumps back to the bottom, and makes a good noise which the children also enjoy! Once all items have been correctly categorised you hear and cheer and see a dancing smiley face. There is a range of ways to categorise the items in each app; colour, shape, food type, location. Some are easier than others, with some of the shape ones being rather tricky!
Even this rather simple design can be extended and used in a number of ways. Obviously there is the categorisation and fine motor skills being targeted. I also like to use it to check vocabulary; either asking the child to find a certain item to check comprehension or asking them to name each item as they move it to check expressive vocabulary. You can also give instructions for the child to follow e.g. find the green car, find something that goes on the water, find something that starts with an s etc. Some of the children I work with request this game after other work just as a reward.
One other range I find useful are the match it 1, 2 and 3. These are designed for much younger children; around 2 years old. In match it 1 you are just matching identical items, but in match it 2 you have to match items that have been changed visually. For example the item has been cut in half, is shown as a shadow or upside down. I have found this useful with older children, particularly if they have issues with letter recognition. Although the pictures are simple they are harder to match if you have visual processing difficulties. This range is also good for children with reduced attention skills as you only have to match 8 or so items to get the reward. Also you don’t need to be as accurate with where you place the items so it’s good for children with reduced fine motor control.
I have not been asked or paid to write this review.
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