Apps That Are Actually Good For Your Kids
As if the parental ‘love-hate’ relationship with electronics wasn’t bad enough, distance learning for many school-aged children led to a greater attachment and several more hours of staring at a screen. Even if your child is taking screen time privileges to the max, using apps and websites that are educational or even help foster age-appropriate developmental skills can put your mind at ease. Here are a few that LifeScape therapists have used and recommend!
- Self-cares: Accessible Chef (accessiblechef.com) is a website that has a collection of free visual recipes to help individuals of all abilities learn to cook. They also have resources on adaptive cooking tools and a recipe creator to make your own visual recipe!
- Visual Skills: Eye Can Learn (eyecanlearn.com) offers activities that help to improve a variety of visual processing skills which can help school performance and sustained attention.
- Language: My Play Home is a virtual dollhouse app, but works great for describing characters and what they are doing, objects in the house, and you can address direction following by instructing the child to make the characters do different things in the different rooms of the house.
- Fun with Verbs and Sentences is an app used to create and speak simple sentences. Users build sentences by choosing the parts of a basic sentence – subject, verb, preposition, etc.
- Articulation Station is a highly rated app, and very comprehensive for addressing articulation at the word, sentence, and story level in 22 sounds that target the initial, medial, and final positions of words. There is a free version, but the Pro version is preferred, but does come at a significant cost ($59.99).
- Sensory and Self-Regulation: Zones of Regulation is a virtual game experience in learning the four Zones of Regulation. It teaches children how to best regulate your alert level and maintain a regulated emotional state.
- Handwriting: Letter School is a great tool for toddlers and preschoolers to learn formation of letters and numbers. It also includes phonics skills.
- Drawing for Kids allows kids to work on prewriting strokes in a fun way. They add a single portion of the drawing at a time and then the app puts it together to make an animal. Kids with very early skills can draw a frog and then watch it hop around the screen.
- General: Khan Academy Kids is a free app that addresses early learning skills for ages 2-7 through music and fun games, and even personalizes a learning path for each child to allow them to learn at their own pace.
Transitioning back to a reasonable amount of screen time is certainly challenging, but easier now that summer is in full swing. Enjoy some balance with technology and nature!