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Posts Tagged ‘special educational apps’

Festive Christmas Apps for Kids

Festive Christmas Apps for Kids

Sleeps to Christmas Apple App

As December is upon us, it’s time to look towards Christmas and Flo Longhorn, a multi sensory education expert has collected together some of the best festive iPad apps around. Here we’re having a close look at the some of the list.

Sleeps to Christmas  -A fab and fun Christmas countdown! Every second to Christmas day is catered for and it’s animated with great cartoons and music. As Flo says, it’s great for maths and great fun, although overexcited children are a definite side effect.

PopOut! The Night Before Christmas – this is a hugely anticipated and interactive pop up Christmas book, viewable from the comfort of your iPad. Check out the video at the below to see how great this app truly is.

Xmas Top 100 Hits – enjoy some celebratory Christmas tunes. Great for every family member as you can enjoy and reminisce over the classic Christmas tracks.

Jingle Bells!  – great fun and interactive, with Jingle Bells you tap Christmas bells in time with the tunes and have plenty of fun doing so.

Christmas Match – various interactive matching games, made more fun because of their Christmas theme. A great way to get kids excited for Christmas.

These are just some of the great apps that Flo’s come across and the best thing is the majority are free. You can enjoy these apps via the Apple App Store and there’s bound to be one which suits your family. Many of these apps appeal to different senses and can be enjoyed by those with different needs and abilities, just have a browse through. They’re great for both using at home and in the classroom. Below is a video showing the fantastic Popout! The Night Before Christmas

We’ve since had a look ourselves at what’s on offer for kids over Christmas. A very good place to look for apps is the Facebook page of Ian Bean, a communication and special education expert known as SENICT. We have found some more fantastic festive apps we thought we’d share. Take a look at these four exciting offerings.

There Is A Star – this app features a fun, festive animated video perfect for entertaining kids at Christmastime. The cute little characters are both entertaining and easy for children to engage with. The funny animated element of this app makes it great for toddlers and older children too. Christmas Carols for Kids – who doesn’t love a god sing a long? We know must children do especially at Christmas and these fun sing a long carols can create hours of fun. Affordable, family friendly and even educational, this app ticks all the boxes. The festive themed tunes are great for getting into the festive spirit too.

Dancing Max Hippo

Dancing Max Hippo

A Big Fat Xmas : Max Hippo HD – BANG BANG– meet Max Hippo, the most festive hippopotamus around! Max is your interactive 3D pal who is disco dancing his way to a Happy New Year. This app is a lot of fun and is bound to have your kids in peals of laughter as they watch max strutting his stuff and enjoying the festive tunes included in the app. Nighty Night!  – this fun storybook app won Best App of the Year 2011 in the books category in both America and Germany so it must be good. It’s an interactive wintery tale which children can really engage with and it includes an integrated go-to-sleep routine to help kids settle down for the night. Below is a video showing how wonderful and magical Nighty Night! is and how it’s perfect for reading on Christmas Eve in preparation for the big day itself:

Don’t forget the Trabasack for your child’s tablet or iPad

Trabasack Xmas Special Bundle Offer

There is still time to take advantage of our special xmas offer:

We’re pleased to announce we’re currently offering a Curve Connect bundle deal – click here.

Perfect for use as an iPad/kindle or tablet  bag and mount for your child to enjoy their xmas gifts. It comes with all the accessories you need Playing_with_sensory_toys_on_a_Trabasack347fd5 including a Media Mount, non-slip mat and additional hook tapes for securing an Ipad or tablet or other toys in place, at £44.95, this saves over £30 on the usual price of all the items combined and will help your child enjoy more from their toys this xmas!

Click for more info on using the Trabasack Media Mount as a Toy Holder or watch the video below:

 

 

 

 

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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 AppBaby-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.

 

 

Kindle Fire for Special Education

Kindle Fire for Special Education

The Kindle Fire Tablet comes to the UK

Kindle Fire for Special Education

Kindle Fire Tablet

We have discussed the launch of the Kindle Fire in the past and how it can be used in a special educational environment. The newest incarnation of the top Amazon product has now been announced on the UK version of the site and is due to be released on October 25th 2012.

Amazon has brought their Kindle a long way from a simple eReading device. Now, it stands out amongst the competitors such as the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Kobo. Its product range is further advanced and their Kindle Fire HD Tablet is described as the most advanced tablet of its size. Kindles are for more than just readers now; they can help in many environments including the special educational needs classroom. What’s also encouraging is that they’re extremely affordable compared to other devices on the market such as the Apple iPad.

A Closer Look at the Kindle Fire for Special Education

The Kindle Fire has been the most popular item on Amazon.com for a long time and it has been further developed and brought to the UK. A small, handheld tablet device available for less than £150, the Kindle Fire
can be packed full of tons of apps and run all manner of games, educational support apps and more. The Fire is also easy to handle for users with disabilities which affect their dexterity and grip.

It incorporates a touch screen and Android operating system. It has been equipped with a new 1.2GHz processor to improve performance and incorporates all the qualities of an Amazon reading device, so you can access many books and stories and also a high-spec tablet device. The Amazon Kindle Fire is ideal for the special learning environment because of its affordability and quality. The price is fantastic for what you get and all users can benefit from different features within the device.

There is also the HD Version which is even further enhanced with Dolby sound and a choice of both 16GB and 32GB versions.

Apps for the Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire for Special Education AppStore

Amazon AppStore

The full range of apps available for the Kindle Fire in the UK is only accessible via the UK Amazon Appstore. However, we’ve been able to take a look a few currently available in the US and are sure similar options will be available through the UK store. Popular apps for the Kindle Fire for Special Education include:

TapToTalk : an innovative AAC app which promotes communication and learning

iStoryBooks : interactive audio story books, ideal for the bookworm of the class

Calm Counter : a behavioural management app for children with challenging behaviours and difficulty expressing their needs verbally.

Autism iHelp Series: a range of specifically designed apps for those with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Encouraging speech and learning in several categories including: Home, Animals and Food.

Please note, many of these apps are available for other tablets and via Android and Apple so we’re sure they’ll come to the UK Amazon Appstore too.

Amazon Fire in the UK

We can’t wait to enjoy all the apps on offer from Amazon.com and are sure users looking for an affordable tablet option will be considering the Kindle Fire for Special Education as a great value version of more expensive, higher-spec competitors. There are so many tablets on the market, it is clear there is a lot of choice but the Amazon Fire has already taken the US by storm, so maybe the UK is next?

Here’s a look at an original review of the Fire, before it was launched in the UK:

Making Music iPad Apps

Creativity Comes Forth with Musical Sensory iPad Apps

After your child has explored the apps that encourage touch skills, musical ipad apps are a smooth progression. Little ones love to make music; whether it’s a keyboard concerto or simply a percussive performance using your pots and pans, these fantastic iPad apps provide the perfect sensory stimuli whilst allowing your child to sharpen their skills as a mini maestro!
image icon for the Glow Tunes iPad app GlowTunes This unique app combines art and music, by allowing your child to draw a picture using brightly coloured pixels, which is then transformed into an extraordinary tune, using 1 of the 12 high quality instruments on offer. The compositions can then be save and shared amongst friends and family to enjoy.

 

 

image icon for the Virtuoso iPad app Virtuoso Piano Pro Classic This musical app is modern take on the traditional piano, offering 7 octaves of sampled concert piano and a choice of effects, offering a truly authentic piano sound. The Virtuoso also features an adjustable keyboard size, perfect for little or large fingers alike.

 

 

 

image icon for the Songify iPad app Songify Songify is a rather novel yet endlessly entertaining way of producing unique musical tracks; this iPod app records sections of speech and via autotune, and then transforms the recorded words into a bespoke song. There’s many different styles of song included with the basic Songify app, with plenty of others available at an extra cost, so no matter what sort of rhythm rocks the boat of your child, there’s a song style to suit.

 

 

Icon image for Garage Band iPad app GarageBand – Apple If your child is looking to create a full-on and layered musical masterpiece, then Garage Band is the perfect iPad app. The simplicity of on-screen gestures can be used to create magnificent instrumental audio that might be difficult via an ordinary instrument, and the multi-touch keyboard makes tapping out drum beats or melodies as easy as can be. This app can also be used via WiFi or Bluetooth with up to 3 other mobile devices (such as iPad, iPod or iPhone) which is perfect for group musical sessions.

 

Child in wheelchair uses Trabasack lap tray to play with iPad

The Trabasack Curve Connect provides the perfect iPad play space for children in wheelchairs

iPads are a fantastic way for providing your child with a creative outlet, and the Trabasack range of sensory iPad tray bags are the perfect addition to your child’s playtime – each iPad bag features a built-in lap tray with ‘connect’ surface, which allows you to attach electronic devices such as iPads with ease – offering safety and security whilst in use. The Trabasack iPad lap tray bags also fit comfortably on wheelchairs and buggies, providing the ultimate practical play-space on the go.

This creative collection of iPad apps were showcased at the TES Resources show in Manchester by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

iPads are helping children with special educational needs in school

iPads are helping children with special educational needs in school

New research has shown that iPads and their apps have been significantly encouraging and supporting children with special educational needs in the classroom. Many children have had their lives revolutionised in just a few weeks of working with iPads in therapeutic settings and research from the States is slowly filtering over to us in the UK.

There are hundreds of apps designed for children and also for children with additional needs but therapists have found most children react to a particular set of apps. Below we’re looking at some of these apps in closer detail:

Preschool Adventure

An interactive educational app with eighteen different activities to choose from. From Sea Beat exploring rhythm and percussion to Ocean Colours which helps your child learn basic colours. This app is fantastic for some very basic and accessible learning.

 

 

Starfall ABC

Help your child master the alphabet at their own pace with this interactive alphabet app. From spelling out their name to learning things a letter a time, this app allows for learning at whatever pace suits the child in question best.

 

 

 

 

Sound Touch

A fantastic touch activated sound based app that contains over 360 different sounds of animals, vehicles and every day noises. Help your child to get used to different sounds and learnt to recognise certain sounds and associate them with the correct meaning. Each sound is matched with a corresponding picture and is activated by simple touch rather than swiping or more difficult touchscreen movements.

 

Nursery Rhymes Tap

Nursery Rhymes Tap is a fun and exciting interactive musical app, designed to help and refine fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also introduces new musical concepts to any child with repetitive musical nursery rhymes. The emphasis is on fun as opposed to strict learning and this like all the apps mentioned, can be taken at the child’s own pace.

 

 

 

iLoveFireworks

An interactive and sensory explosion. This app allows you to create your own explosive fireworks and make lots of fun patterns. Fantastic way of mimicking a sensory room experience at home in miniature or in the classroom on a small scale.

 

 

 

And our son with a great fun app called ‘Draw with Stars‘ suggested by Ian Bean, Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer

The growth of the iPad and other tablet devices is allowing for special education to be fun and more accessible for children. This growth in affordable and accessible apps is helping children to develop beyond their parents and teachers expectations and all with the help of modern, assistive technology.

 

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