Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Visual Supports: Shopping List Bingo on the iPad

As I interview parents about community outings, many share frustrations with grocery store visits.  We often discuss strategies for providing distractions throughout the store in order to avoid challenging behaviors.  A short visual shopping list gives the little shopper a chore.  This activity keeps the little shopper busy and promotes early literacy skills, vocabulary building and conversation between the adult shopper and little shopper.  I used the app Pages to create the visual, then took a screenshot of the visual.  For the Bingo part of the activity, I used the app, Doodle Buddy.  Doodle Buddy is a free app, but there are some advertisements.   To pull up the visual, choose the tic tac toe icon on the bottom, choose "photos" then "camera roll".  Select the screenshot.  

 For younger shoppers, use the stamp icon to select an image.  As the little shopper finds the items, he or she stamps the image.

For older, little shoppers, consider choosing the writing tool so the little shopper can practice some fine motor skills by making some Xs or scribbling on the item.  Guided access can be used to keep the child in the app and disable the icons not being used.  This activity can also be used as a strategy for completing a sequence such as dressing or the bedtime routine.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Playful parenting: Sesame Street Family Play

In my search for resources that for support playful parenting, I came across the app, Sesame Street Family Play.  The app is $.99 with an additional in app purchase.  According to the description of the app, it is designed to encourage everyday playful moments and includes 150 game ideas. The $.99 version of the app provides game ideas for the home.  The in app purchase is $1.99 and provides additional activities for when away from home and traveling. 

The app prompts the user to choose the area of the house where the play will take place, then asks how many kids will be playing.  Choices for locations are Living Room, Kitchen, Bathroom and Bedroom.  Options for players are from 1-4+.  Different Sesame characters present games using readily available materials in the chosen area of the home. Sock Skee Ball is a game that was generated when the bedroom was chosen as the location.  The app asked if there were several belts and socks available.  To play the game, rolled up socks are thrown into looped belts that are placed on the floor.  Each loop is assigned a different point value.   At the end of the activity, the app describes what type of skills the activity is promoting.  In this case, the app explains that Sock Skee Ball promotes spatial relations, counting, and addition.  There were games for different routines such as clean up, bedtime, and bath time.  An example of a clean up game is, Cup Handed Robots.  The idea of the game is to see how fast you can pick up things with plastic cups on your hands.  A novel way to get reluctant cleaners engaged in the process. 

The home version of this app is a great tool for a parent or caregiver to turn to when a new play idea is needed.  The developers have designed many appropriate activities that promote imaginary and active play.