There are so many apps for Android and iOS that it is not always easy to tell whether the app you install for your child to use is actually helping them learn anything or not. If you have a child who is working on speech and language skills, here are 8 great apps to help with language development.
Articulation Station (iTunes, free)
Articulation is a tough speech skill for a lot of kids to learn and, though some misarticulations are developmentally appropriate, it’s still a good idea to work on learning how to say things correctly. The program targets sounds at the beginning, middle and end of words, uses great imagery and has almost 20 words per sound to practice with. It was developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist and the expertise shows!.
So Much 2 Say (iTunes, $24.99)
This application for iPhone and iPad is not just a simple app; it’s actually more like a full communication system. So Much 2 Say, a winner of the 2011 Best Apps Ever Award (in the Special Needs category) is a little more expensive than your typical app, but it’s worth it. It’s a great application to help your non-verbal child feel as though he’s able to communicate with the rest of the world.
Endless Alphabet (iTunes, free)
If you have ever read your child the book “There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, “ (Spoiler alert–it’s Grover), than you and your child will love this app created by the same people. Each letter is an interactive puzzle that helps to teach your child the definition of words that start with the letter.
Note: This app may be free,but in order to use it beyond “G,” your device must be online.
ASL American Sign Language (Google Play Store, free)
This app is actually pretty simple, which is great if you and your child are just starting out with the American Sign Language alphabet. It’s a basic flashcard application with large, detailed and realistic images of the finger-spelling position for every letter in the alphabet. Once your child has an idea of what the letters look like, he can move on to combining them to make words.
Note: This is a free, ad-supported application, so be sure to not to let your child use it without you.
ABA- What Rhymes? ( iTunes, $1.99)
The ABA-What Rhymes? app is one of a series of educational applications created by Kindergarten.com. In this app, ABA, refers to Applied Behavioral Analysis, a method of teaching that is frequently used with children with developmental delays, most commonly, autism. Kindergarten.com’s ABA apps have incredibly detailed data-gathering abilities so you and your child’s intervention team can keep track of progress.
The What Rhymes? app is appealing to more typically developing kids, too. The images are clear, simply displayed and the game itself is very easy to understand. There are four images, one of which is spoken and your child has to choose the rhyming image. You can opt to turn the vocal off, change which targets you want your child to learn and it’s a great app for a self-directed learner.
ABA Which Go Together? ( iTunes, $1.99)
This app, also by Kindergarten.com, takes on a more challenging aspect of language–categorization. Like What Rhymes? It has many of the same progress-tracking features and is presented in beautiful visual format.
The basic interface of four pictures provides your child with simple images, two of which go together in some way. It’s a great way for your child to think outside of the box of learning sounds, letters, and sight words and promotes higher-level comprehension skills.
Question Builder (iTunes, $5.99)
I love Question Builder. As a kindergarten teacher and a mom, I don’t know how many times I’ve used the phrase, “That’s a comment, not a question.” This app helps kids understand what goes into a question and how to make inferences. With nearly 12000 “WH” and “H0w” questions to hear (or read–you can turn the sound off), your child’s ability to question things correctly will be greatly increased.
Conversation Builder (iTunes, $7.99)
Though Conversation Builder may be a little more expensive than your typical app, it’s well worth it. If you have a child who has trouble with the pragmatics of language or grasping social cues, this app is a must-have. You can personalize the built-in conversations (nearly 150 of them) with your child’s name and information to help him feel like he’s part of the conversation. He can also record his own voice to be an active conversational participant.