my favorite language apps to use with preschoolers
I am linking up again with Speech Room News' Love It and List It party this month. The theme is "Language Apps", so here are the top apps I use to address those language goals with my preschool caseload!
1) Make a Scene: Farmyard
Why I love it: First of all, the pictures are adorable. But I really love this app for my preschoolers because it targets a lot of farm vocabulary, animals, fruits and vegetables, and farm equipment. You can also change the background to other farm scenes. There are several colors/patterns for each animal, so we talk about those describing words. I usually have my students tell me what they'd like to add to the picture next, then we expand their utterance by adding in describing words or complete phrases.
SLP: Now what should we add to our farm?
SLP: Okay! Do you want a brown horse, or a black horse?
Child: Black horse.
SLP: I want black horse.
Child: I want black horse.
(SLP then allows child access to iPad to add the black horse to the scene.)
We can also expand the activity further and talk about the location words of where the child is placing each picture (e.g. "The cat is inside the barn!"). Make a Scene Farmyard is also excellent to target following directions.
Make a Scene: Farmyard is currently available for free in the app store at the time of this posting. There are other Make a Scene themes (jungle, under the sea, etc.) that are also available for purchase.
2) Furry Friend: Lenord
Why I love it: Lenord is very similar to Talking Tom and his friends, but I enjoy Lenord so much more. He has different props along the bottom of the screen that he interacts with, or will repeat what the child says. Tickle his belly and he giggles. Blow the pinwheel to make it spin. Let go of his balloon, pop his bubbles, or give him a snack or a drink. I have found my preschoolers are fascinated by Lenord, enjoy interacting with him, and think it's hilarious when Lenord repeats what they say. I use this app to elicit requests, increase MLU, and discuss feelings or activities of daily living.
Furry Friend: Lenord is currently available for $0.99 in the app store at the time of this posting. Or, try the lite version for free.
3) Bitsboard Pro
Why I love it: Bitsboard allows you access to thousands of flash cards and categories, but you can also customize the boards to your needs or upload your own pictures. The pro version has a ton of different learning options for each picture board including flashcards, receptive identification, Bingo games, pop quizzes, matching, spelling, and more.
I find myself frequently using boards for different categories (clothing, animals, etc.), but I really love the Action Words boards to elicit language. These pictures are great for targeting different action words. I'll have my students use a verb to tell what is happening in each picture, then we practice using that word in a short phrase or sentence, depending on the student's skill level. There's a wonderful recording feature that allows me to record the student saying their new sentence, then we get to play it back and make changes. Love this app!
Bitsboard Pro is currently available for $2.99 in the app store at the time of this posting. Or, try the lite version for free.
4) Lego 4+
Why I love it: Plain and simple, my preschoolers adore this app and it gets used multiple times each day. Kiddos are able to construct their own cars, so we get lots of language practice talking about the colors, wheel shapes, drivers, items in the backs of the cars, etc. I usually have my students tell me what piece they'd like to use to build their car before they can add it on, and we work on making nice requests, expanding utterances, or using those describing words.
After you are done building your super new purple race car with red rectangle wheels and a lion in back, you get to drive it! Try to collect all the Lego pieces before you reach your destination, then a bonus Lego creation awaits for you to build. This app is mega fun for all my students :)
Lego 4+ is currently available for free in the app store or the Google Play store at the time of this posting.
5) Honorable Mention: Anything from Toca Boca!! All these apps are open-ended, engaging, and versatile.
So there you have it! My favorite apps to use for language goals with my preschoolers! What do you like to use?
Now, go check out what other language apps SLPs are using!