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Everything about Outloud Apps and our view to speech therapy.
The range of speech therapy and educational apps is growing day by day and we all want to be up to date with how technology can facilitate the sessions with our little patients... But how to use these apps in the most effective and diverse way? We think, only by sharing ideas with each other! So today's post is about multiple uses of just one app — on the example of our latest release Citymals.
Let's start with the main purpose of a voice-activated game — to encourage the little user to produce sounds. You can start with simple "aaa" and "ooo" and focus on producing louder or quieter sounds, and microphone calibration is your number one friend (read more about calibrating apps here).
The next step is to practice difficult sounds, such as "rrr". Use Citymals as a timer for one repetition — in order to make the game change something on the screen, the user should make a sound of longer than approximately a second. A dozen or two of such repetitions while the kid is completing the level — and their R will improve little by little! This tip was suggested in the KaylaSLP blog when Kayla was reviewing our another voice-activated app Leaping Leo. Citymals and Leaping Leo can be used in similar ways, so give R a try! (Here's a blog with great tips on eliciting the R sound).
The next step could be to ask the kid say words instead of separate sounds, something that bigger children can do to improve articulation. This tip we got from another Leaping Leo review done by Desiree in the SLPTalk blog. Citymals probably wouldn't allow you to say whole phrases and tong twisters, but separate words would be perfect!
If you're having a group of children during one session, using a voice-activated app is still a great idea! Ask the kids to keep quiet while one of them is using the app — and teach them to take turns and respect each other!
Finally, after the therapy session is over and the family gathers at home in the evening, you can continue using Citymals to teach the child about emotions or causalities. When you see squirrels wrestling over the acorn or ducks running away from the dog in the screen, discuss why they might be doing this. What emotions do the characters feel? Why does the rainbow appear after the rain? And why an owl appears in twilight? Ask the child to pay attention to such things and teach them about the world around us day by day!
Wow, hard to imagine that one educational app can have so many uses! SLPs, if you have tried some of these ideas, we'd love to hear how it went! Moreover, if you come up with more ideas, please let us know in the comments below! And, of course, if you haven't done so yet, download Outloud Citymals for iPad by clicking the button below: