Tech Tips for Summer Fun
Tech Tips for summer fun
Summer is almost here again! No school, no homework, fewer extracurricular activities. Perhaps where you live is getting back to “normal” or at least adjusting to the “new normal”? Some of you may be traveling for the first time in a year or more and some may be still sticking close to home.
Either way, it is a safe bet that at some point you may hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored” from your child or children. How about some fun ways to keep them entertained while staying active? Maybe even keeping up with those school skills using games? Or a creative way to stay hydrated in the summer heat? All of these apps can be used alone, but they are more fun to do together for “shared enjoyment”. Many parents and therapists have used these apps for all kinds of sneaky skill development – vocabulary building, learning colors, adjectives, following directions, visual tracking and movement – from the smallest movement to all out gross motor mania!
Who doesn’t love ice cream?! This fun app allows kids to manage their own ice cream shop by picking flavors, toppings, and prices. There are not any written or spoken directions so the child can engage in creative play by following simple visual prompts (lids in the case wiggling). This app can be used to work on describing, following directions while you take someone’s order, counting coins, or just take a break and bond over silly flavors (fish and robot usually get a good giggle).
Toca Life: Vacation
Just in time for summer, Toca Life: Vacation is a fun early learning app that helps develop pre-reading, language and fine motor skills. The engaging app also encourages creativity, problem solving and more. One of the best features of the app is the freedom for children to explore and discover on their own.
Just Dance Now
Do you have dancing fever? Just Dance Now is a great way to get the whole family moving and can be played inside to beat the summer heat. This is a mobile version of the popular console game and allows users to use their phones as the controller. Users can now move and groove with more participants using this app as they mimic the movements of the dancers in the video.
NFL PLAY 60
By American Heart Association
NFL PLAY 60 is a fun app that is the result of the American Heart Association teaming up with the NFL. It has fun games with a football twist that inspire kids to get active. They can chase their opponent down in TAG, and outlast the competition in Red Light, Green Light. Perhaps it can be used as a creative way to encourage a child with physical challenges to get moving possibly with or without assistance?
Jigsaw Box Puzzles
By Sparkle Apps
Jigsaw Box Puzzles is a free app that provides fun and relaxation for users of all ages. This puzzle app allows users to choose the number of puzzle pieces each time they play, so a younger or less skilled player can choose 8 pieces and then work their way up to more for a greater challenge. It also allows users to create puzzles from the pictures in their device’s library. So, you can have a puzzle of your favorite pet or favorite vacation spot! This is a great tool for strengthening those fine motor and spatial awareness skills in users of all ages.
Plant Nanny² is a cute, colorful and fun app for tracking how much water you drink — each glass also waters the app’s plants so you both can thrive. Every day you can collect and take care of little plants to get hydrated and grow together.
If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information about using mobile devices with people who have special needs.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Amy Fuchs is the Program Coordinator at BridgingApps and a former special education teacher. Amy Barry is the Content Manager and Editor at BridgingApps and mother of five children
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This post originally appeared on our May/June 2021 Magazine