First of all, typically I don’t use tablets and apps with my little clients under the age of 2 because I believe the research that says children that age learn better through three dimensional play, not screens.
Also I will admit I jumped on board when everyone was trying apps with their students as kids love games on a tablet and it provided a new way to deliver therapy. I’ve now heard from other colleagues that they also have pulled back a bit and found a balance between traditional therapy materials and apps.
That being said, here is my first review of “My PlayHome” by Shimon Young, a digital interactive dollhouse where kids can move from room to room or floor to floor, open a cupboard and pour themselves a bowl of cereal, fry an egg on the stove, get dressed, go to bed and pull up the covers, turn on the TV, pour drinks, take a shower, or move outside to ride on a tire swing. I’ve used it with 2 year-olds to work on naming single words as well as generating 2-word combinations. Kids 3 and 4 were fascinated with all the interactions available in each room, as well as the outside garden, practicing verbs as well as carrier phrases for their articulation goals, “She IS swinging,” “He IS driving the ship,” or “Mom IS watering the garden.” Each screen has several characters to drag into the room that become interactive–jump on the trampoline, get dressed, lie down in bed, sit in a chair or eat pizza. They provide a nice opportunity to work on pronouns too.
Possible goals to work on with this app:
- Single word naming or 2-word combinations
- Syntax: verbs, pronouns, prepositions
- Following directions