Mobile Education Store is fast becoming a favorite source for speech therapy apps. It’s hard to find engaging apps for kids past the pre-school level, but they have created fun videos that kids as old as 10 enjoy. The 2-4 screen sequenced cartoons in TenseBuilder have a silly, surprise, component that kids find fun. (therapists too!). A girl mails a letter to grandma and the mailbox comes alive and hops off to deliver it, an errant baseball breaks through a window and lands in mom’s fry pan of eggs, or a boy drinks a glass of orange juice and then it shoots out his ears! These developers clearly know kid humor.

A video tutorial takes you though the selection process of all the options for use–audio instructions, correct answer reinforcement, record correct answer, 2 levels of play, tense of verbs (future, present, past, all) and past tense regular, irregular and selected. Since many of my kids have difficulty with irregular past tense verbs I selected that. The numerous options allow for faster play, and more or less instruction and reinforcement of answers. This allows matching options to the needs of each child as far as language and attention skills.

Now starts the fun–press “Play” and the first movie comes up. “Play the movie” and watch the sequence of a space ship landing on a picnic, a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, or a boy swimming to an island. In  Level 1 choose from three pictures that illustrate the sentence using the past tense, “The bird flew around the tree,” while Level 2 requires you to drag the correct word to fill in the sentence. Incorrect answers are explained showing the picture that illustrates that verb tense of the story–then “try again.” The difference in tenses is continuously explained so the child learns those that he might not even be working on.

Recorded sentences are saved in Archives and Stats saves a Performance Report for each user to email to a parent or teacher.

This app is so easy to use but the best part about it is how much fun it is for kids. I honestly have used it for many other goals such as articulation, fluency, and language. I recently used it with a 7 year-old on the autism spectrum since he is working on elaboration and description of a story. These cartoons are clear, sequenced and have a bit of a surprise ending so there is inference involved too. I use it for pragmatic discussions–how did that mother feel with egg splattered on her face from the baseball?

As with any product–toy, game or app–its value is certainly tied to outstanding quality but also its flexibility to be used in different ways to advance kids language. This app is right in that category!

Note: I just heard from the developer that he about to update the app with 6 new animations, bringing the total to 54–all the more fun!

This review is solely the opinion of the author. TenseBuilder was provided for review by Mobile Education Store.