Action words are introduced in sentences and not in isolation. Animations are used to illustrate meaning instead of photographs.
What we’d love to see…
Punctuation at the end of the sentences.
Perfectly designed for the younger children, this app teaches children 24 vocabulary words and 48 common action words by showing them how the words are used in context.
The easiest way to learn an action word is to see it in action. While there are apps that pair the actions to the words, not all of them do as well as First Words: Action Words for Toddlers and Preschool Children by Codegent. It is not only captivating and engaging, it’s also more educational than the average app.
First Words: Action Words introduces 48 action words in simple sentences accompanied by fun animations (starring 24 cute characters/toys) to illustrate the meanings of the action words. 8 of these characters (Baby, Girl, Car, Man, Ball, Boy, Cat and Dog) are included in the free app and an additional 16 (Bat, Boat, Bird, Rabbit, Fish, Sun, Duck, Woman, Pirate, Firefighter, Balloon, Policewoman, Rocket, Princess, Chef and Dinosaur) are available via a child-protected in-app purchase of $2.99.
Even from the locked menu, children can benefit as they learn to recognize the name of each character. These look like flash cards where there is just the character (some with props) and the name against a plain background, enabling younger children to focus better. There is a good variety of animals, persons, toys and imaginary characters available here and I particularly like the inclusion of the Policewoman (instead of gender role stereotypes).
From the unlocked menu, your child can tap on any character that he fancies, to hear the name as many times as he wishes. When he taps on the screen again, the character will perform an action. This is accompanied by a narrated sentence (option of US or UK English voiceover) that describes the action. Swipe to the left reveal a new action/animation and a corresponding sentence that introduces yet more vocabulary words. To move to another character, kids just have to swipe to the left/right or go back to the menu to choose.
Action words taught include familiar ones like singing, hopping, saying and less common ones like floating, steering, diving but there is more to learn beyond the 48 target words. Kids get to learn what are the unique actions that each character can do (The bat is hanging in the dark) and the related vocabulary words. Learning the words in context and seeing them in action makes it easy to understand and remember their meaning. More importantly, kids will learn how to use these action words correctly, it is really a great app for introducing the concept of verbs in a fun and age appropriate way.
Download First Words: Action Words for free now and let your child learn 16 action words as he plays with the first 8 characters. Your child will love it!
Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
Beautiful images; the ability to customize lessons or search community-made lessons; the ability to track user data
What we’d love to see…
randomized presentation of exercises, randomized correct/incorrect answer sounds
An electronic set of ABA/ language arts flash cards – with the option to make custom lessons or download pre-made lessons from an ever-growing community-based library.
Reviewed by Mary and Marica See the image, Touch the image, Learn – simple as that! We first reviewed See.Touch.Learn. in 2012 but is has had some major updates since then with a new voice, new lesson generator. lots of new images and libraries, a collaborative community and a sleek new interface.
This app is designed to replace physical flashcards and was initially designed for ABA therapy for Autism, but has a host of other uses including Speech Therapy and Language Arts instruction.The app starts with pre-made lessons and goes to lessons limited only by your imagination. Users are greeted by images and either a verbal or written response as to which item(s) to select. Correct answers are rewarded with verbal praise, incorrect answers are redirected with an auditory cue (and an image wiggle option available in settings). Many custom settings are available. At first, it takes a bit to get familiar with the program, but only because there are so many options! We found the online help videos loaded with information and tips.
The PRO and SITE versions give access to over 40 libraries containing more than 4,400 images and 2,200 exercises. Even more appealing is access to the ever-growing community based libraries of images, lessons, and exercises. Here users can search through pre-made lessons covering a wide range of topics – social/emotional, environmental safety awareness, familiar books/stories, letters, sight/dolch words… the list is endless.
Brain Parade gives tons of online support too – from an update blog, video libraries of help topics, to community based support forums. And, throughout the app and on the websites, you find numerous links to provide feedback (both ideas and questions).
A few minor errors we found – a glitch in the student the data tracker on the iPad2 but it worked fine on the iPad-mini. When creating lessons and using the random exercise generator, the same two images are placed in the same exercise. You can go through the lesson editor and change the double images, but it would be nice to avoid the duplication all together.
See.Touch.Learn. is a Speech Therapist’s and a Special Education Teacher’s dream come true. Producers thought of all the stops with this app. The only downside is that the full version is pricey – currently $39.99, but it does have a huge amount of content and a lite version is available for free, so users can try before they buy. This free version includes the ability to use pre-made lessons or customize lessons using the provided images (along with in-app purchases to the Custom Card Creator and community library of lessons/images). The PRO version has an IAP available (currently $4.99) to add student data collection, but everything else is included.
All in all See.Touch.Learn. is a ready to use and fully customizable app all rolled into one beautiful package. It’s an excellent addition to your language arts bag of tricks!
Includes 4,400 pictures, 2,200 exercises and access to the Brain Parade Community with over 4,000 lessons developed by peers. Visual Instruction for Autism and Special Needs. More than 500,000 users in.
Visual Instruction for Autism and Special Needs. Replace all of your flash cards with the 4,400 pictures and 2,200 exercises developed by professionals. More than 500,000 users in 104 countries! Create.
We have 2 copies of the PRO version to giveaway. Winners will be emailed and must respond within 48 hrs to claim their prize
“Marica is a married mother of three girls (ages 3, 7, and 9). She works as a school based occupational therapist in Northwest Ohio servicing children with unique needs from ages 3 -22. In her free time ☺ she enjoys learning and exploring with her loving family.
fun spaced theme educational app that practices a wide variety of skills and uses video’s as a reward for successfully completing the “missions”
What we’d love to see…
parental dashboard to show which skills your child has worked on as well as missions completed, help or hint button for more complicated mini games
Fun space themed app which practices a variety of skills via mini games that can be customized to your child’s specific skill level
Grandpa in Space is an out of this world intergalactic space adventure for iOS by Fairlady Media featuring nine destinations in the solar system with 10 mini games and 18 space themed video’s. This app features ten mini games including: shape lander, memory match, build a rocket, alien addition, clean up the ship, sort by height, fix the satellite, rhyme race, asteroid blaster, and opposites. Each mini game features a specific educational skill ranging from counting, sorting, lining up objects by height (tallest to shortest), matching, listening to sounds, and landing objects. Skills practiced in the app include: fine motor, math, sorting, reading, building and more. The app is targeted at children in early elementary school. The app allows you to customize the app based on your child’s skill level so that you can “turn off” the harder games that your child may not have mastered the skills for as well as turning on and off the music. It is designed for children from age five to eight although I think some of the higher level games could appeal to children older than eight especially if they were interested in the solar system.
Within the app after you click “play” you choose a planet for your mission. Once you select a planet, you see a splash screen which tells you basic facts about the planet and then allows you to move on to a rocket building game. After building the rocket, you go off into space and then play a variety of mini games to successfully complete the mission.
My son loved the videos in the app as he loves anything that has to do with space. We used it as an opportunity to practice the names of the planets as well as practicing the various mini games contained within. He enjoyed the spaceship game which was the precursor to each planet activity through the galaxy. After completing the activity for the planet or “mission” you earn a souvenir for the trip.
In terms of improvements, my son did hit the “menu” button several times in the mini games by accident as it is somewhat close to the parts especially in the rocket ship game which was the first part of any of the mini games to bring you to the specific planet. In the rocket ship game he wanted to be able to steer the rocket ship while it traveled to the next mini game which in this most recent case was rhyming. It would also be nice while piloting the rocket ship if there was an avatar to show your child in the ship as well. A “hint” function might be helpful for some of the more complex games especially if your child is not familiar with the words or what it means. It might also be nice to have a box to hold the souvenirs earned from each of the planets which are lost when you close out of the app. It would also be nice to see a parental dashboard that shows which games your child has played and how long it took them to successfully achieve the mission.
The app contains a parental gate which requires you to enter a series of numbers. Behind the gate there are links to social media, iTunes and email. In addition, there is a settings menu which allows you to customize the app and turn on and off specific mini games based on your child’s skill level. Fairlady Media does not collect any personal information within the applications and complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Act.
Overall, this app provided lots of intergalactic fun for my kindergartener once I was able to customize it to his skill level. The variety of skills learned in the app including counting, opposites, addition, sorting/categorizing, memory, as well as lots of great space vocabulary.
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
An easy to use and kid-friendly writing tool that really motivates children to write and read better.
What we’d love to see…
Optional edit lock, text highlighting.
Learning to read by writing is a brilliant idea that is both fun and effective. WriteReader is the perfect app to accomplish this.
We have 3 codes to give away for #BHSM, you can read Grace’s review below:
If you are looking for an engaging way to accelerate your child’s reading abilities, then you should check out this app that has been developed to help children learn to read by writing photo stories, an approach that is backed by scientific research and field testing.
The WriteReader App looks like any other story making app in the App Store but it is designed to help children learn to write and read at the same time. It does the usual – allow the user to create a storybook, insert his own photos/screenshots/text/audio in it, edit it at will and later read or share it with others – but it puts the child in control of the content of the story, specifically the writing. It does that by including in the app, kid-friendly features that are easy for children (3-10 years old) to learn to use.
After the title page, you will see 2 separate text boxes on each page that you add – 1 for the child’s experimental writing and another for the adult writing. The child attempts to write a word or sentence to go with each picture/photo in the child writing box and then lets the adult (or an older sibling/friend) translate his writing to proper sentences with the correct spelling. Once done, the child can record himself reading the adult writing. He may even ask if he could correct his own writing. Whatever his reactions, he would be very keen to compare the 2 versions and in the process, learn to read and spell the words that he had attempted to write .
WriteReader further supports the young writer with a kid-friendly qwerty keyboard that gives him the option to see the letters in lower case just as he would see them in his writing. There is also an option to hear the name of the letters being typed. On this keyboard, the vowels are red while the consonants blue, making the search for them easy. My son quickly learnt to use both the consonants and vowels together as he listened to the sounds in each syllable/word.
This app does not have many fanciful extras. There are no stickers, font library, borders nor drawing tools (though you can use screenshots of your child’s drawings done in other apps) that may distract your child from the task of writing which is a good thing. What you get instead is more opportunities for your child to write when he adds interesting captions, speech and thought bubbles to the photos. You can choose the colors of these bubbles as well as the text within. In edit mode, you can delete and rearrange the individual pages, a feature that is sometimes missing in other apps. You can print (via AirPrint), email your story or share via Facebook in pdf. You also have the option to share only the child or adult writing or have both.
WriteReader is suitable for children of different abilities with the appropriate level of adult assistance. A younger child who has yet to learn the letter sounds can first record his thoughts using the app’s recording feature and then have the adult type out the adult text for the child to copy into the child box. Another child may prefer to have suggested key words or writing prompts given in the adult text box to help him get started while a more competent writer can type up to 4 lines of text on each page and leave out the adult writing.
The app now has an iPhone version, which is great since we take our photos with the handy iPhone most of the time. I hope to see further updates to include an optional edit lock and text highlighting which would be so helpful for younger children.
My 6 year old son has been very eager to make his own stories since he was shown how to use the app. He loves it that he could express his thoughts through writing (typing) without the stress of getting everything right. He still needs a lot of help with spelling and forming proper sentences but he is very motivated because the books are personal to him and he loves to read his stories over and over again. For me, it was great working with him on this app. He was attentive when I emphasized the speech sounds to help him form his words. This reinforces the phonic rules and sight words that he has learnt in a meaningful activity. The recording feature also helped him in his reading fluency and clarity. I really like this app and I foresee that we will be using WriteReader very often.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
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