Apps, Random Therapy Ideas, Worth Every Penny

Scribble Press

Now that finals are over and I’m well on my way out of rainy dodge to a week of sunshine in AZ, it’s time for another app review.  This time I’m talking story creation with Scribble Press.  This app is fantastic for letting kids create their own books (which can even be ordered and mailed to you if you’re feeling sentimental).  What I love about Scribble Press is the ability to start with the “skeleton” of a book and fill in the details so kids can make it their own.

When you click on the “New Book” link, it brings you to a shelf full of book categories.  Does your client love aliens?  CHECK!  Is it Christmas/Hanukkah time and you want to do a holiday themed book?  CHECK!  Check out the various book categories below!

Within each category is a list of actual book “skeletons” to choose from.  The image below shows the book options available in the “About Me” category.

Once you’ve decided on a book, a madlibs-esque screen will pop up with a story skeleton and blank spaces for you to fill in with your client.  This is a great opportunity for them to practice spelling/typing skills if appropriate.  For those kiddos who hate to generate their own sentences or stories, this is great because it gives them a place to start from which to come up with ideas.  You can always go back later and edit the skeleton to be more relevant to your client (or just create a book from scratch with no skeleton).

Once everything is filled in, it’s time to illustrate the book!  The app has a decent selection of images to choose from, but the real gem is the ability to choose from a PLETHORA of colors and a PLETHORA of “marker types” to draw your own pictures.  I love the creativity this encourages in kids. You can always alter your books to target particular artic sounds, semantic categories, or language elements.

 

You’re enticed, aren’t you?  So…the big question: how much is this app?  $free.99!!  That’s right folks, Scribble Press is absolutely free.  Depending on the level of support you want to offer, this app is great for kids of all ages (or maybe even some of the adult clients out there) and opens the therapy floodgates for a multitude of great intervention targets and ideas!

 

Random Therapy Ideas

Build A Sentence…LEGO STYLE!

I love legos, you love legos, and guess what?  Pediatric clients LOVE legos.  So why not make legos your tool for building better grammar and better sentences?  Here’s an easy way to effectively bring a favorite activity into your next therapy session for kiddos working on sentence structure.

Getting Ready (subject + verb + adjective + object sentence): Before you begin your session, choose 4 colors to function as your “parts of speech” categories.  You will need at least one basic-size duplo lego (these are the big legos like the yellow one below, not the itty bitty ones) in each color with a velcro piece on the side + one of the large, flat ground/foundation pieces that generally serves at the base of any lego project (like the green one below):

       +          = READY!

Each color of your regular-size duplos will represent one of the parts of speech: (i.e. green = subject, black = verb, yellow = adjective, and red = object). You could certainly add more colors for additional categories if you want more complexity.  Bring a selection of words on small cards (with a velcro piece on the back) that fit into each of these categories.  You might have 5 for each part of speech when you first start out:

  • Subjects: She, He, Johnny, Doggie, Mom
  • Verbs: eats, drinks, makes, finds, wants
  • Adjectives: hot, little, fuzzy, shiny, bubbly
  • Objects: soup, juice, slippers, toys, cookies

GO: The game involves asking your kiddo to velcro the appropriate part-of-speech-card to its corresponding colored lego, and then to build a grammatically correct sentence with those legos.  You can begin to add in articles, additional descriptors, and even punctuation as they improve in their sentence-building skills!  The more complex the sentence, the more your client gets to build!  Maybe you could even work up to a multi-sentence tower/castle/etc. as they improve and you get more creative!

If you’re not ready to work on sentences, use this idea with an easier linguistic level: put one letter on each duplo to build a word, or even use this technique within a minimal pairs activity!  No matter what you end up targeting, your kiddo is sure to love the chance to “build” their skills with legos 🙂