Monday, January 28, 2013

Preschool Week Day 1: Websites & Apps

Welcome to Preschool Week!  A whole week all about the little guys right here at Busy Bee Speech!  Everyday we'll be diving into tips, tricks, research, and materials to help our little ones become better communicators.  Whether you work with them or have your own children who are preschoolers, I hope you'll find some helpful new info.

Today is all things techie!  I'll be sharing my favorite websites and apps for PK.  We recently had a speech therapy in-service in our district, and my amazing coworkers shared some fun new apps with me.  I'm super excited!

First, let's check out some useful websites for SLPs and parents of preschoolers. 
playing with words 365

Hands down this is one of the best blogs for parents on early speech and language development.  There are plenty of resources for SLPs as well.  Katie is an SLP and mommy who loves to share information on early speech and language skills as well as intervention strategies to expand children's communication.  You can read more on what her blog is about here on the "about" page.

To understand if a child has speech or language delays, it's a good idea to have a sense of typical development.  On this site you can find definitions of what is meant by "speech" and "language" as well as other areas of communication.  There are also development charts from ages birth-5 that you can find here as well as what to expect if a child is learning more than one language.

This is another awesome site geared toward parents and SLPs.  Heidi is an SLP/mom and shares lots of resources and worksheets, especially in the area of articulation.  You can find free sound development charts and articulation screening tools.  She even designed the app Articulation Station... one of my favorite artic apps!

Play on Words is a great site if you're looking for good reviews of toys, games, and books that build language in kids.  I especially like her book picks broken down by age.  Sherry focuses on how to build language through play and gives out PAL (Play Advances Language) Awards to toys and games that do just that!

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a conference by Laura Mize a couple of years ago.  It ended up being one of the best, most practical lectures on early childhood I'd ever heard.  She has books and DVDs that are available for purchase but also has lots of tips and information on her site.  She even does a "Therapy Tip of the Week" which usually includes a video clip.  Highly recommend!

Now for some fun apps that I love to use with my preschoolers!  For this list I'm going to try and stick with apps that are free or under $5, so it won't break the bank if you wanted to purchase them yourself.  :)

This is a great free app and a favorite among my kiddos.  They love to help the bunny and giraffe find the lion.  It provides lots of opportunities for language skills including executive functioning, concepts, prepositions, following directions, and more.  It's really cute too!  

Another fun free one.  When I was younger, Nickelodeon had this face that would come on between shows and make funny noises.  This app totally reminds me of that!  Haha.  It targets 8 different areas: feelings, verbalizations, colors, silly faces, looking in directions (eye gaze), songs, letters, and numbers.  

I love this app!  It's from Boing and focuses on vocabulary, sentence formation, and listening comprehension.  The vocabulary section is free, but the full version is $2.99.  The listening section is great for prepositions and following directions, and the other 2 sections are great for building both receptive and expressive language.

This is a fun app for teaching concepts and opposites as well as cause and effect.  It focuses on up/down, but I'm able to teach lots of other concepts as well.  It's good for young kids who are just beginning to use an iPad because a trail follows your finger when you touch the screen.  Plus, you don't have to touch in the exact place for the objects to move.

We love interactive books in my speech room.  I use them just like I would a regular children's book in therapy, asking questions, expanding utterances, talking about the actions and vocabulary, etc.  The fun part about it being interactive is that the kids seem more engaged and eager to participate.  :)

This one definitely wins the cutest app award in my book!  I love it!  It's awesome for print awareness and emergent literacy skills.  Grover is hilarious and tries to tie down pages and build walls to keep you from turning the pages.  It's very interactive!

Well, hope some of these help you!  What are your favorite sites and apps to use in therapy??
**Be sure to check back the rest of the week for more preschool fun!


  1. Thanks so much! I'm going to download the Touch and Say right now (and I know the Nickelodeon face you mentioned!)

    1. Haha! Glad somebody knew what I was talking about lol! Hope some of these were helpful for you :)


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