There is a plethora of apps available for your smart phone to enable you to support your children. When it comes to SLCN this is just as true (especially if you are willing to pay for them) but how do you know which apps will be suitable for your child? We asked our Speech and Language Therapist Sophie Mustoe-Playfair to try out some of the free SLCN apps on the market.

Kids Story Builder

Free – available on Android

What is it?

Kids Story Builder is a storyboarding app which is full of potential for various Speech and Language Therapy tasks. You can take your own pictures, sequence them, and record a spoken message to accompany each picture.

Who is it for?

There’s something for everyone here! This app could be useful and appropriate for anyone from EYFS to KS3. Kids Story Builder uses photos taken by the user, so there’s no real upper age limit for users to enjoy this app. The app is suitable for younger children too, since it is up to the user to make the content.

What is it good for?

There are plenty of potential applications. The app would be a brilliant way to explore any expressive language target, allowing you to personalise activities and discuss actions and events that are relevant and meaningful to the child you’re working with. There’s scope to work on building and extending sentences, sequencing events, using tenses and connectives, and narrative skills. You could also use this for making highly personalised visual timetables, or for developing social stories.

My PlayHome

Lite version free, full version £2.99 – available on Apple and Android

What is it?

A virtual doll’s house with scope for lots of receptive and expressive language activities. Users can explore a house and carry out a range of activities with the items they find – they can even blow bubbles!

Who is it for?

This one is probably more suitable for a younger audience – EYFS and KS1 pupils are likely to enjoy exploring the playhouse and re-creating familiar sequences of play.

What is it good for?

This is a great source of inspiration for generating all sorts of expressive language and listening activities. You could use this to practise following instructions, and progress towards longer instructions with multiple parts and sequences. There’s lots of functional, everyday vocabulary to explore and you could use this to practise building and extending sentences – acting something out and then describing it using target grammatical structures or vocabulary (or make this a listening activity by describing an action for the child to act out). You could work on understanding and using prepositions by hiding objects around the house, or work on understanding and using pronouns by animating the different characters. If this kind of activity appeals to the child you’re working with then you will surely have lots to talk about.

Chatterpix Kids

Free – available on Apple and Android

What is it?

Chatterpix is an uncomplicated mash-up of photography and voice recording – you take a photo of anything you like, draw on a mouth, and record something for your DIY animation to say. Watch all of the inanimate objects in your classroom come to life!

Who would it appeal to?

All sorts of children from EYFS to KS2 are likely to find this app entertaining – and more importantly motivating – for at least a little while, so it’s a worthwhile addition to your therapy repertoire.

What is it good for?

Chatterpix is motivating. It’s a simple app, which means it’s easy to use and generally reliable, and kids will find it funny. You could use this alongside almost any expressive language activity to encourage talking and practice the child’s target skills. It could also be useful as a resource for practising thinking of other peoples’ perspectives if you’re working on social skills.

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