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Archive for May 2013

Recommended Apps for Dravet Kids – Part 2

Here we have part 2 of our recommended apps for children with Dravet Syndrome.

Each app is simple and easy to use and most importantly, packed with fun features and interactive games to not only entertain, but educate at the same time.

In our first blog post we covered the pre-school classroom range of educational apps, along with some fun “make it yourself” games and the Splat the Clowns and Peeping Musicians targeting/hand-eye coordination apps.
In this post we will cover a collection of cheery and traditional interactive story books, nursery rhyme apps for rhythm and speech development, and basic flashcard-type apps.

The Kidztory Book Collection

The Kidztory storybook collection includes a number of traditional fairy tales and stories brought to life for the iPad and iPod. These interactive books are a fantastic way to share all the stories you loved as a child with your own children, and each “book” is beautifully illustrated and narrated, to provide a truly joyful experience for your child.

Icon for Little Red Riding Hood App Little Red Riding Hood – A Kidztory Classic animated interactive storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Giant Turnip App The Giant Turnip – A Kidztory Classic animated interactive storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for Chicken Little App Chicken Little – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Little Red Hen App The Little Red Hen – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Gingerbread Man App The Gingerbread Man – Kidztory interactive animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Ugly Duckling App The Ugly Duckling – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for Goldilocks and the Three Bears App Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Grasshopper Learning Apps

Each app in the Grasshopper range provides a fun and educational approach to the basics of pre-school learning. They are also highly-customisable, allowing the parent to change almost every setting and feature in the app through a special settings panel. This allows you to add and remove items such as pictures and words, record your own voice and provide a bespoke learning experience for your child. If you child finds it easier to learn and understand when provided with items and voices familiar to them, then these apps are ideal.

Icon for Counting Bear App Counting Bear – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for Matching Numbers App Matching Game – My First Numbers – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for montessori Counting Board App Montessori Counting Board – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for Rhyming Words App Rhyming Words – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

 

Icon for Toddler Matching Game app Little Matchups – The Matching Game for Toddlers – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

 

Icon for Photo Touch Concepts app Kids Learning – Photo Touch Concepts – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Special Numbers, Special Words and Special Stories

The “Special” apps created by Special iApps developers all base their design on a straight-forward, uncluttered learning environment, that is immediate to the child and easy to navigate. The Special Numbers, Words and Stories apps cover 3 main learning areas; Special Numbers introduces your child to early number skills through a variety of set activities such as counting, matching, ordering, comparing and selecting.
Special Words is designed to help your child to recognise early vocabulary in written words and will encourage them to vocalise whilst also improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Lastly, the Special Stories app allows you and your child to create and share stories with text, sound and pictures / photographs. The simple interface is suitable for children and adults with poor motor skills, hearing impairment and general additional educational needs.

Icon for Special Words App Special Words – Special iApps

 

 

 

Icon for Special Stories Special Stories – Special iApps

 

 

 

Icon for Special Numbers App Special Numbers – Special iApps

 

 

 

Nursery Rhymes and Princess Fairy Tale Maker

The Duck Duck Moose collection of children’s nursery rhyme apps are a fantastic way to help your child with rhythm and speech development through the use of traditional songs and music. Each rhyme app is filled with interactive pages, original illustrations and are sure to thrill and captivate and capture your child’s imagination. There are currently three nursery rhyme interactive story book titles available from Duck Duck Moose; Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald and Baa Baa Black Sheep.

The Princess Fairy Tale Maker allows your child to make their very own fairy tale using a huge collection of animated backgrounds, animated “stickers” and almost 30 different crayons and colouring pencils. The stickers can be moved about and recorded, to make movies, and your child can add their own voice to create a truly fun fairy tale experience!

Icon for Old MacDonald's Farm App Old MacDonald HD – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Baa Baa Black Sheep App Baa Baa Black Sheep – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Itsy Bitsy Spider App Itsy Bitsy Spider HD – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Princess Fairy Tale Maker App Princess Fairy Tale Maker – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Wheels on the Bus App Wheels on the Bus HD – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Different Roads to Learning Apps

The Different Roads to Learning range of apps are especially designed for children with additional learning needs, such as autism, Downs Syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
They cover many of the basic educational subjects, along with general communication issues and development.
Each app is fully-customisable and also keeps a record and statistics of your child’s usage and achievement within the app. This is a great way to give them independence to play and learn, and allows you to analyse and monitor their progress at a later date in your own time.

Icon for Clean Up: Category Sorting App Clean Up: Category Sorting – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Icon for Tell Me About It! App Tell Me About It! – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Icon for What Goes Together? App What Goes Together? – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon for What's That Sound? App What’s That Sound? Learning to Listen and Identify Sounds – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Toddler Flashcards, Counting and Animals

The iTots range of toddler apps are as simple as you can get, but with this simplicity comes ease of use for little ones with additional learning needs. The interface of each app is clean and clear, and uses bright and fuss-free images of everyday items that your child will immediately recognise.
The Toddler Flashcards game is a basic flashcards app that provides your child with images of everyday items and provides the word written underneath and also verbally. You can also choose from a number of languages, including English.
The Counting and Animals apps are similar to the Flashcards app, and offer endless interactive fun if your child prefers specific subjects (such as numbers or animals). The game will ask your child very simple questions which can be answered via touch screen, and rewards them with every correct answer they give.

Icon for iTots Number Counting App Toddler Counting – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Icon for iTots Flash Cards App Toddler Flashcards – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Icon for iTots Toddler Animals Game App Toddler Animals Game – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Want more? Check out our series of apps recommended by Specialist Education and Technology Trainer Ian Bean.

 

 

Suggested Apps from Dravet Families – Part One

Apps suggested by Dravet Families

Thanks to modern technology, devices such as iPad tablet computers have revolutionised the way we can play with and educate our children. Moreover, touch-screen devices are especially useful for children with additional learning needs, such as those with Dravet Syndrome and autism.

There are so many apps around, and lists of apps(!), it was great to receive this list that was suggested by parents of Dravet children on facebook.

This list from Dravet Syndrome UK which covers some of the best iPad apps available for kids and young adults with Dravet Syndrome. Whether you are looking to strengthen their vocabulary understanding or just let their creative side loose, there’s an app to keep your child entertained and stimulated.

These apps may of course be useful for other children with learning disabilities and autism.

Pre-School Classroom Range

The Pre-School Classroom range of software offer a number of educational titles that cover basic subjects such as maths and English. Each app is created with simplicity in mind, and an added bonus is that none of the apps include any “in-app” purchases – which can become annoying and confusing for little ones using apps.

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board - pre-school classroom appPre-School Classroom – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board with letter tiles behind it - Pre-school phonics crossword appPre-School Phonic Crosswords – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board with a sum written (1+4=5) - Fun Sums AppFun Sums HD – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of two children stood upon a maze with the word "maze" underneath - pre-school maze appPre-School Maze – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board surrounded by the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Pre-school maths class appPre-School Maths Class – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

Mr and Mrs Potato Head

These Mr and Mrs Potato Head apps are based on the classic children’s toy we all knew and loved as children ourselves. The app is simple yet fun, allowing your child to decorate and dress Mr or Mrs Potato Head with only the touch of the screen. The ability to change the facial expressions and outfits will hopefully allow your child to learn more about emotional differences and help them to express their own feelings through the app.

Icon of a waving and smiling Mr Potato Head - Mr Potato Head appMr. Potato Head Create & Play – Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a waving and smiling Mrs Potato Head - Mrs Potato Head AppMrs. Potato Head Create & Play – Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

 

 

Splat the Clowns

Splat the Clown is a simple and amusing target game, involving clowns and… custard pies! The game features a number of settings to change the difficulty and speed of the target, and will help your child develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination whilst having lots of fun. Splat the Clown is switch compatible.

Icon of a smiling clown in a purple hat - Splat the Clown AppSplat The Clowns – Inclusive Technology Ltd

 

 

 

Peeping Musicians

Peeping Musicians is another targeting app that helps children to develop their looking and observation skills. A number of bright and furry characters will hide from the user, and when they “peep” out the child must simply touch them on the screen and they will be rewarded with a centre-stage musical number from the character. This app includes 20 different characters and instruments to find.

Icon of different coloured cats playing a cello - Peeping Musicians AppPeeping Musicians – Inclusive Technology Ltd

 

 

 

Crazy Cats Inc Range of Fun Food Apps

The team at Crazy Cats Inc have created a number of apps which are all based on the same idea, yet each with a different theme. Each app allows children to concoct their own culinary creation – including doughnuts, cookies, pizza, cupcakes and more!
In each app your child can choose from a number of ingredients and colourful (and tasty-looking!) toppings to produce their own dream dish. The basic apps are free, and will involve in-app purchases to provide further toppings and options.

Icon of a chocolate donut with sprinkles - Donut Maker ! AppDonut Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a cookie/biscuit with colourful hearts on top - Cookie Maker ! AppCookie Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a red and white cupcake with strawberries on top - Cupcake Maker ! appCupcake Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a pepperoni pizza - Pizza Maker+ AppPizza Maker+ – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

My First App Range

The My First App range of games are simple and colourful apps that cover all subjects from matching, building, sorting, music and more.
Each app is super-colourful and easy to use, yet still providing your child with hours of fun and entertainment. The simple touch screen usability and eye-catching animations will capture your child’s imagination whilst teaching them some of the most fundamental learning skills needed for building language and numeracy.

Image of coloured stacking rings - Build It Up AppBuild-it-up – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of three circles in red, blue and yellow - Match It Up AppMatch it up 3 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of toys on a wooden shelf - Sort It Out AppSort It Out 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Icon showing opposites - day/night, inverse colours - Opposites AppOpposites 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Icon of a dog with musical notes - First Sounds AppFirst Sounds – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of a girl and a boy in chef's hats making a cake - Baby Chef App Baby-Chef – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

Icon of three people holding flowers - Families AppFamilies 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of various circles in columns and rows, in various colours - Matrix Match AppMatrixMatch 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Part 2 of our apps suggested by Dravet families can be found on the next post.

We have many more apps aimed at children with special education needs on this blog. There is a click here for a series suggested by Ian Bean an education and technology specialist.

 

 

The Sensory Story Project

Image of silhouette of little girl interracting with a blue light

Sensory exploration helps children with additional needs understand the world around them.

‘Sensory Story’ Project Nears Deadline

We were excited to find a  ‘KickStarter’ project, urgently needing last minute donations, that will help children with disabilities enjoy stories. Joanna Grace is trying to raise money to write ten stories that can made available to children and parents at a lower cost than existing resources. Using Kickstarter is a new way of raising money where the people and organisations who contribute get something tangible in return. See below for the awards at different levels of donation.

Using Multi Sensory Objects in Story Telling

Our own son Joe has used similar resources at his school, where the stories used are from Tac Pac. These are bags of different objects that can help to bring a story to life using the senses, a whistle may be blown for a train for example. We have also encountered ‘Bag Books‘ that are actual books created for children with profound learning disabilities.

Sensory Stories Video

 

The very best explanation of what sensory stories are can be explained by watching Joanne in this video:

With only a few days left Joanne is hoping that a final push will achieve the goal of £5000. Please share this page to help her in her efforts.

Joanne explains the need for Sensory Stories:

The brain needs to receive information from the senses in order to develop. As children we reach out to grab things, turn our heads to watch toys, gurgle in response to music, and as we do these things neural pathways are laid down in the brain. As we repeat the experiences these pathways grow more defined.

Through accessing a variety of sensory experiences connections are created: hand eye coordination is one of these connections and from it stems a whole host of other developmental achievements.

Individuals with profound disabilities and sensory impairments may not be able to access these valuable experiences for themselves. Their senses might not ‘notice’ every day stimuli and so require something more focused. They might not be able to physically access stimuli and so they rely on someone else to facilitate the experiences.

Sensory stories use the five famous senses combined with a distiller narrative to tell a story. Sensory stories are a fun way of providing a range of sensory experiences. They can also be used to: support communication; help individuals express preferences; and to promote socialisation.

Image of Joanna Grace in woodland looking up at the trees.

Joanna Grace has extensive experience in creating sensory stories

The Sensory Story Project aims to create such stories, it only has until the 20th of May to find backers. Backing is a lot of fun as you get to choose a reward in exchange for your good deed: rewards range from sensory stories, to guides on sensory learning or the opportunity to receive a smell in the post!

Sensory stories are fun to share with anyone, but if sharing them with someone with profound and multiple learning disabilities they’re best shared 1:1 and ideally suited to being presented on a Trabasack.

More information is available on the projects page, and we hope you take a look:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sensorystory/sensory-stories

 

Kickstarter Benefits of Donations

Many people are using kickstarter as a new way of raising money because you can pledge different amounts of money and get increasing benefits, gifts or discounts in return.If you are able to contribute to the fundraiser there are benefits for each level of donation:

  • Pledge £1 or more

    9 backers

    A personal thank you email from the author/creator and an electronic guide explaining why sensory stimulation is so important. Your name listed as a backer on my website.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £5 or more

    14 backers

    Your choice of two of the following electronic guides. * What makes great sensory stimuli? * How do I share a sensory story? * How can I use a sensory story in school? * Why is sensory stimulation important? Plus your name on website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £10 or more

    14 backers

    A single smell experience, plus three of the following electronic guides: * What makes great sensory stimuli? * How do I share a sensory story? * How can I use a sensory story in school? * Why is sensory stimulation important? And your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £15 or more

    3 backers

    A random sensory experience accompanying a line from a story, (think of this as an excerpt from a story). Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website, and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £17 or more

    4 backers

    A Sensory Snout Sensory Story Project mascot. Please see our Facebook page for more information. We have a growing menagerie of mascots,each will be hand made by me and everyone will be different. I hope to give you choices concerning colour and scent – yes scent, the mascots provide a tickly touch experience and are also stuffed with cotton infused with essential oils so they’re a fragrant little experience. I’ll put more details on the Facebook page as the project progresses.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £20 or more

    12 backers

    A unique contribution on the topic of Sensory Stories for your blog/magazine/newspaper. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website, and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £25 or more

    6 backers

    A sensory smorgasbord: a set of five sensory experiences. (This is not a whole story, but it will be a lot of fun). Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £30 or more

    1 backer

    A T-shirt with the unique Sensory Stories logo. The logo is currently under creation but is the word ‘Story’ spelt out with a nose as the S, a hand as the T, an eye as the O, an ear as the R and a tongue as the Y, so great way to share the sensory nature of these stories. I’ll post the logo on the Facebook page as soon as it’s in a suitable state. Colour choices and size options will be sent to backers prior to the rewards being posted. [Note, unfortunately these will not be seamless T-shirts, if you need seemless please get in contact and I’ll try my best].

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £4 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £40 or more

    0 backers

    A Sensory Story with guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £1 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £50 or more

    8 backers

    A boxed (resourced) Sensory Story, or your choice of a previous reward. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £7 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £60 or more

    1 backer

    2 Sensory Stories with guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli, or your choice of a previous reward. (These stories won’t have stimuli with them, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £80 or more

    1 backer

    2 boxed (resourced) Sensory Story, or your choice of a previous reward. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £15 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £100 or more

    2 backers

    Personalisation. The opportunity to have a story personalised with your details or the details of a loved one. The story will be personalised with names and locations of your choice. [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. Depending on the story there may also be other opportunities, for example to put in favourite colours, foods or animals. You will receive the story when it is complete, along with guidance on how to source the stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) You will also receive your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £7 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £150 or more

    0 backers

    A talk about Sensory Stories to an audience of your choice. [Happy to travel to any location but will need transport costs.] You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead. Plus a Sensory Story and guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus: your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £200 or more

    2 backers

    The whole caboodle! [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. The complete library of boxed Sensory Stories, resourced with stimuli and guidance on delivery, plus a complete set of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £15 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £400 or more

    0 backers

    A talk about Sensory Stories to an audience of your choosing. Transport included for anywhere within the UK. [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. Plus a Sensory Story and guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli, (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) You will also get a complete set of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £750 or more

    0 backers

    The opportunity to co-author/create a story with the author/creator. You can contribute story ideas, experiment with stimuli, add personalisation including names of loved ones. I am happy to share the authoring experience with anyone of any age and any ability. This reward would particularly suit an individual with PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities) You will be credited on the story and will receive a boxed resourced copy of the story once it is complete. Plus all the electronic guides, your name on the website and a thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Jul 2013

Time is running out!

With only a few days left Joanne is hoping that a final push will achieve the goal of £5000. Please contribute if you can and share this page to help her in her efforts.