Speech Language Play

Let’s play with trains-Review April 11, 2012

Filed under: Language — speechlanguageplay @ 5:52 pm
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Atech Let’s play with the trains!

This app for iPhone, iPad touch or iPad is a great free beginner app. It has a simple cause and effect interface that no matter where a child touches or draws a train track will appear. once a line or squiggle is drawn, it is soon followed by a variety of trains with really cool train sounds.


Something I like about this app is that it doesn’t have too many options so when using it for a reinforcement activity the kids can take a quick turn without obsessing over specific features.

There are several options that can be controlled:

  • A picture of the scene can be posted on twitter (not sure why this is needed):bird in the lower right hand corner
  • The background can be changed (great for conversations and where the trains are and where they are going):arrows in the lower right hand corner
  • Clearing the tracks to start again:garbage can in the lower right hand corner
  • Pause: bottom right hand corner
  • Info (in app purchases to remove adds, and download all their other apps): “i” in the top left corner

All of these option are tiny on the iPhone/IPod touch, and hard to manipulate by little fingers. However, the Ad on the bottom of the screen  is quite easy to activat


e by little fingers. I would suggest purchasing the app to remove the In App Ads or to turn on airplane mode, so that little fingers don’t access the appstore or twitter.

Overall this is a great app, and a lot of fun for kids 2-6 yrs of age.



The “U-Play mat” October 2, 2009

Filed under: Parent-Child Interaction — speechlanguageplay @ 9:14 pm
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U-play mat with picture cards inside

U-play mat with picture cards inside

The U-play mat is a “U” shaped mat with pockets that can be used for improving speech, language, and pragmatic skills.  It looks like a simple mat, but it is actually a great way to engage a child.  Moreover, it takes the child away from the television, and without having all the bells and whistles that many toys have nowadays.  Overall,  using the U-play mat is a very good way to increase attention during regular day-to-day play.  It is used on the floor and entails putting different picture cards into the pockets, while working on different skills during play with the child. The deck of cards that are used are colorful, appealing and look quite child-friendly.  Neverthless, I am sure that  you can use any deck of of picture cards (e.g., to work on a specific sound, to introduce the child’s favorite character (e.g., Dora, Elmo), etc.). The U-play mat website recommends that the child sits on the inside of the “U,” and that the parent/therapist/sibling sits just on the outside facing the child; however, for a fun twist, once a child can master a skill, depending on the child’s age and abilities, I would turn the tables and let the child be the “teacher.”  This mixes up the skills necessary for the activity and changes up the routine, thereby giving the child new experiences to help faciliatetheir cognitive development and growth.