Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ben's Favorite Apps

We got our iPad at Christmas. In the months since, Ben has figured out exactly how to operate it. We keep it locked to regulate access for his older brothers. He knows when it is locked and will normally just hit the icon so he can look at the pictures stored on the iPad. (It is great to know I can use the iPad as a digital photo frame and still keep the iPad locked.) He can get into and out of apps with no difficulty and regularly turns the volume up (all the way). His apps are stored in folders- Books, Speech, Sign Language, ABC’s, 123’s, Words, Flash Cards, Potty, Social Stories and Games.
The following is a list of apps that Ben’s chooses regularly when given free time to play on the iPad:


                           This Little Light of Mine: Has a regular and coloring mode where he     can color the picture while the music plays and the words are highlighted. 
Love books that highlight the words. Also good music therapy.

Five Monkeys: New app this week but quickly becoming a favorite. This app teaches the concept of Stop and Go. Signing with words highlighted helps reading and 3 choices of song style helps with music therapy.

Bo’s Bed Time Story: Some of it is a little bit hard for him. The object is to help Bo the giraffe get ready for bed by sorting toys, picking out pajamas, taking a bath and so forth. Good for OT for manipulating objects, and early learning stills of matching, sorting, etc.


InstaPal: Take any photo, and add an animated mouth so that the photo “talks” to you.

Talking Super Car : Talking Car shaped like Lightning McQueen. In addition to him repeating your words, the car can change colors and drive. Very good for kids who like cars.


Signing Time Flash Cards: One side shows the words, or tap the picture to get a demonstration of the sign. Great for reading or reinforcing signs.

ASL Dictionary: Great for me to use to look up signs I don’t know to use in our daily routine. 4,800 video signs in this app. Ben loves singing to songs on the radio, and we add signs whenever we can to make the songs more fun.


Counting Bear : Great for working on 1 to 1 correspondence. It is a very customizable app that lets you add your own pictures of things to count and your voice to congratulate them. Great errorless learning app.

Count123: Also great for 1 to 1 correspondence. On this one the items that you count do something. For instance, you bounce the basketballs, fly kites, or find the hidden dinosaur.


Shape Galaxy: Great online shape sorter. Grab and drag the shapes into the correct area on the page. Levels get harder as you go.

Match Frog: Shoot a rocket then identify the color from a choice of 3.


Touch & Say: A colorful happy face sings songs, makes silly noises, and teaches colors.

Sentence Maker: Drag the words of 2 to 3 words sentences into the correct spot to make a sentence.

Flash Cards

Healthy Habits: Choose the healthy answer to a verbal question out of 4 pictures.


Potty Time: Free app with in app song purchases. Has a reward chart, and a couple songs free, to help teach the potty process.

Pull-Ups iGo Potty: Free App from Pull Ups. Has a song and rewards system also. Games unlocked after a few successful potty attempts.

Social Stories:

Going Places: Has short videos show clips of kids modeling good behavior while going out in public. Covers 6 different scenarios.

Like I said these are the apps Ben chooses to go to. Most are good solid teaching apps, so I rarely feel the need to direct him to different apps. is a great place for getting apps that normally have a fee that were just reduced to be free. The apps are updated around noon our time. Some are free for an hour, some for a day, and some for a week. I stalked this site long before we had an iPad and had accumulated around 350 apps by the time we got it. Some apps were not as good as I thought they would be, so I just deleted them.
Ben does have one guilty pleasure app that he picked up from watching his big brothers. Temple Run is game where mutant monkeys chase a person around some temple ruins. Mostly he likes to crash the person or make them fall off the ledge. I guess we all need to have a little fun every now and then.

I am very glad we got the iPad.  Ben went from watching and listening the songs to singing along to almost every word in less than 4 months.  It has been a great learning tool for him.  He is motivated to learn when using it, becase he gets to learn by playing games.  What better way to learn is there?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ben's Birthday

I just realized that I forgot to put up pictures of Ben's Birthday Party.  Ben enjoyed having his Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle, and cousins over for a Birthday barbecue.  The weather was perfect in the mid 70s.  Not very usual for March in NE.  They all enjoyed playing and eating cake outside.