Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review 4 iPad Cases For Children

I was tasked with researching durable iPad cases for the young child.  There are many cases to choose from.  My biggest parameters were protection of the iPad and price.  I read hundreds of reviews and watched youtube videos.  Here are my 4 favorite most affordable cases and am leaning towards to #4 - ArmorBox Kido
Please share your experiences
Comparison iPad Cases for Young Children
Priced Below $35
Reviewed by Ricki Block –
October 2012



Price on Amazon
(FREE Shipping)

Product Details
i-Blason ArmorBox Kido Series Light Weight Super Protection Convertable Stand Cover Case for Apple iPad 2, The New iPad 3 - Blue 

Raised Bezel for Screen Protections
EVA foam
EVA foam

EVA foam
Impact resistant polycarbonate and double-enforced  w/ shock absorbing silicone inner sleeve
Carry Handle
Can carry by the arm
Stand Angles
Free Standing but is not secure – incline better with iguy lying flat upside down
Built in convertible stand case
Additional $24.95
Product Details
Built in convertible stand case
Available Colors
orange, green blue
lime, blue, pink
blue, green, pink, purple, grey
blue, pink black
Easy access to buttons
Hard to access input jacks
Hard to access input jacks
YES – 1.5lbs
YES – 14.4 oz
YES – 10.4 oz
YES – 12 oz
Fits all iPad models
Ipad 2 & 3
Ipad 2 & 3

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ricki's App Update - 44 Favorites

Ricki's APP update Sept. 2, 2012: 
Go to www.preschoolspeechsource to download an extensive list of "speech" apps.
Sorts apps into categories. 
Bold APPS are new
Highlighted APPS are favorites- 44 (out of 157!)  They are all my favorites, so I did my best to pick my favorite favorite!
9 Developers were chosen as favorites as well, because I like a majority of the apps they have developed:  Pixel Envision, Shoe the Goose, Duck Duck Moose, Maverick Software, Toca Boca, Alligator Apps, Grasshopper Apps, Different Roads to Learning, Super Duper    
Page 1 - AAC,cause-effect,sounds  - helpful for children who may be pre-verbal and/or just beginning to learn to communicate
Page 2 - articulation, books -  articulation apps can give you a list of sounds....doesn't always have to be flashcard can enjoy "drill" during creative activities, e.g. art, books, games
Page 3 - follow directions &
Page 4 - games, puzzles, songs, ABC-123
Page 5 - Vocabulary, language, WH questions

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review 10 Apps - 7 FREE

I just played with over 50 FREE Apps and felt that the following 10 apps were worth downloading.  GET THEM WHILE THEY ARE FREE!!  (Work in Progress)
Meet Millie - This is the cutest "Lift the Flap" interactive book which features a video of Millie the Shaggy dog (the real deal) when you open each flap.  I would modify the wording of the story for a preschooler who needs a simpler storyline.
The Surprise - NOW $5.99 - no longer FREE - SORRY! This is a well done video in which you tell the story.  You can write the story to the right of the screen and record the story too.  It's about a boy who finds a dog and sneaks him into his house.  The characters have distinct facial expressions which makes this a great app for kids who need work on reading facial expressions and pragmatics.
Sam Phibian - This is a story about a little green frog who eats bugs and grows - great tool for eye tracking - Sam has to tap the bugs which then get swiped by the frog's tongue.
Word Pig - Kids can explore letters and spell/read simple 3-letter words - child's voice says letters and the word when complete.
Pre-K ABC - NOW 1.99 - no longer FREE - SORRY!

Puzzle/ Matching:
Kids Trains, Planes & Sea Vehicles - There are4 FREE motivating puzzle games (you can purchase more.)   When a puzzle is completed kids are rewarded with a variety of sound activated events such as clapping and  popping balloons. Big puzzle pieces and nice graphics.
Play Lab - This is a simple and catchy shapes matching game with upbeat music
Simple Sort - NOW .99 - no longer FREE - SORRY! Play a category game with as few as 1 category to 6 categories
Cause & Effect:
Art of Glow - You can draw using a variety of 8 shapes and 8 colors which continue to move until you press the clear button and start over.  You can control the movements and cycles as well.  Nice sound effects.
Music Animals - Great photos and clear sounds & naming of animal.  12 pics are free.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Resources Added to Preschool Speech Source

Hi Everyone,
New resources have been added to  Check them out!

LessonPix was created by Lori and Bill Binko for the people who support and who love special learners. The goal was an easy online tool to create specific, customized materials for parents, teachers and therapists. Lori and Bill are parents of a special needs child. They have created  picture schedules, bingo games, puppets, "ask for" cards, picture books, playing cards, lacing cards, and more. Request any specific pictures you need.  You can also upload your own photos. 
LessonPix is only $24.00 per year. Thanks to Alicia Lore for sharing!

Toddler Toddler activities games crafts-  Jennifer has enjoyed doing crafts, painting, drawing with her son and  has shared her creative ideas with others on her website.  Well worth checking out!NEW: Toddler Toddler activities games crafts- Jennifer has enjoyed doing crafts, painting, drawing with her son and has shared her creative ideas with others on her website. Well worth checking out!

NEW: Check out Fantastic Organics - healthy recipes for kids and adults.  My husband and I have been eating organic for 16 years.  You are what you eat!    In partnership with Whole Foods Market®, PBS KIDS® has collected tips, ideas, recipes, videos and games to encourage you and your family to explore organics. PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market are delighted to partner up to help you and your family make conscious decisions about organic foods, and be inspired to create healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I have found myself posting on Facebook more than my Blog and am not yet clear of the difference.  I am covering all my bases and posting on my Blog, Facebook, my website and Twitter.  Whew!!!   There has to be an easier way, but still learning.  Anyway, Momswithapps just celebrated App Friday.  Many FREE apps were listed, although the only one I really liked was Kapu Forest. (FREE for limited time only.)  Many of the other apps were "Samples" and you had to purchase additional apps to use it effectively or there were too many ads.  Thanks to Digital Storytime I found the following FREE Story Apps which very cute and simple.  Click on Title for more info.
Josh & Emma Go to the Beach- Narrated slowly by a young child.  Interactive activities throughout the story, e.g. "What's next to the big rock?"  Two orange pointy starfish - you can tie in concepts of position, attributes, etc. This book will help a child who is easily distracted follow simple directions.
Miss Spider's Tea Party - A favorite story of mine written by David Kirk.  Listen to the interactive story, watch the video, match pictures, color, or do a puzzle - nice background music
Thomas & Friends- Pop Goes Thomas and Creaky Cranky are FREE.  You can purchase other titles.  Play a matching game, color, or complete a puzzle - when the puzzle is completed, a short video plays
I came upon the following FREE apps which are going to be a hit with our preschoolers:
Music Sparkles - This is a terrific cause & effect app for kids who need to learn that every actions creates a reaction.  This app comes with 2 FREE instruments, the xylophone and drums. You can purchase other instruments, but for my purpose, these two instruments are fine.  The sounds are clear and defined.  Observe the child's behavior of randomly hitting the instrument or purposeful hitting with intention.
Musical Flash Cards Animals- There are 12 colorful FREE photos of animals. You can purchase additional animals. Tap on an animal and it makes the sound.  Tap the printed word at the bottom of the screen to hear the word.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Speech Mama - Added to Resource Connections at Kim Marino is the SLP who created this site.  Her feeding, drinking and oral motor  practices are inspired by Lori Overland and Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson.  Kim also offers practical strategies for young children with receptive and expressive language delays.  The right side of her website has a listing of pertinent topics to explore. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

5 App Review Resources

I like App Reviews from:
Smart Apps for Kids
Speech Language Neighborhood
Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Preschool Speech Source

 1. I personally have many of the apps reviewed on these 4 sites. I look at the cost of the app to determine if it's worth the value and if a FREE app has limited use, I delete it. Take advantage of limited time FREE apps. I have downloaded many FREE apps during this time.
2.  I always pair an iPad activity with a hands on activity.  Children learn by doing and and we need
to remember the importance of real time experiences.  Our experiences build on our knowledge base.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

NEW: Free APP from TOCA BOCA - Toca Kitchen Monsters - this is the "lite" version of Toca Kitchen. Try it for FREE first and if your child likes it, you can purchase the full version for $1.99. This is an interactive app with sound activated sequences, e.g. cooking, cutting, blending, boiling water, microwave. Two monsters make funny noises when they are eating - and when they don't like a food. Check out newly added resources at

Friday, June 29, 2012

Interesting read from Pam Marshalla - The Oral Institute - "Van Riper and other developers of traditional articulation therapy regularly used a wide variety of tools/objects in articulation therapy when teaching dissociation, grading, direction, and positioning of the articulators for phonetic placement. Tools/objects were used when other auditory, linguistic, and cognitive means failed to stimulate correct phoneme productions. To call these activities "non-speech" methods seems to misrepresent the historic purpose objects have served in articulation therapy. Student clinicians need to be taught how tools/objects were used in phonetic placement, and professionals need to consider how these methods might help their clients with oral sensory-motor delay/dysfunction. More empirical research is required in this area. "
Pam has provided a summary of 86 objects that have been used for oral motor activities and she explains the stated purpose.
I have found pairing oral motor with sound production has been a successful strategy to help children develop the muscle memory to produce sounds - for example alternate blowing a horn, recorder,harmonica,etc.. then producing B, P, making a tissue move when whispering "puh", blowing through a straw and making a feather move. Check out the Flip Book from Super Duper. Each page has 3 flips of pictures to practice simple CV combos and is considered a staple in our program. Blowing bubbles (which encourage lip pursing and proper breath control) alternating with production of SH, CH, J sound has provided success for our children as well .

Just received this info from Advanced Brain Technology
The Auditory Brain - July 3rd

Sound Brain Fitness Series
These monthly, 60 minute teleseminars cover wide ranging topics intended to help people transform their lives through a better understanding of sound, music, and the brain. Alex frequently invites industry experts to join him as his special guest and reserves time for Q&A.
Next: The Auditory Brain
Guest: Seth S. Horowitz, Ph.D
Host: Alex Doman
Date/Time: July 3, 2012, 8pm ET (1am GMT)
  • Description
  • In evolutionary terms, hearing is a universal sense - there are no normally deaf vertebrates. It is highly adaptive to hear because sound lets you usefully detect what is going on at great distances even out of line of sight.
  • Hearing is a mechanical sense - it has the fewest processes between the sensation and the perception.
  • Hearing is the fastest sense; understanding it gives you a sense of the math behind the mind.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Free preschool e-book apps

Smart Apps for Kids - has the following carefully chosen FREE Apps listed on their site. Just because an app is free doesn't mean it's good. I have reviewed 100's of free apps and am selective in the apps I recommend.

Open Wide Snap - By kid-e story books - about a crocodile who needs his teeth cleaned - this story can easily be modified for a child who needs a simpler story line. Select "Read It Myself" - the word "SNAP" is voice activated on every page when you press the "Next" arrow. Reader has an English accent. It is a redundant-predictable story. It's very cute! This is a great tie-in with the book "Five Little Monkeys Sitting In a Tree and "The Wide Mouth Frog."

Hide, Run Growl - By kid-e story books - Mommy's paw is too sore, so mommy can't hunt today. The little tiger cub hunts for mommy and goes on an adventure. Each page "Growls" when you press the "Next" arrow. Read by same reader as above and can also be modified for a child who needs a simpler story line.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6 Favorite Apps from Duck Duck Moose

Duck Duck Moose - NEW: Trucks - First thing I did was turn off the music on the front screen. This is an interactive app is embedded with a variety of sounds and movements within 5 venues - car wash, dump truck, tow truck, garbage truck and car parade. In car parade the traffic light works - car stops with red light, car moves slower with yellow light and car stops with red light. Many opportunities to follow directions,encourage expansion of MLU, target vocabulary such as action words, attributes, location, etc. My favorite apps from Duck Duck Moose are the interactive songs - I usually turn on the music , but there is an option to record the story yourself. I have used them for working on cause & effect with pre-verbal children, sequencing, following directions, sound imitation:   Video posted at
Wheel on Bus - Great for labial sounds b, m, p, labeling objects & actions $.99
Old MacDonald - Sound association, label animals and actions $1.99
Itsy Bitsy Spider - Great for s sound $1.99
Baa Baa Black Sheet - Great for labial sounds $1.99

Draw & Tell - Think out of the box with this app - very useful for working on multi-step directions. You color sheets or create your own design. You can work on directions while coloring and increase level of difficulty by using the "Stickers." There are a variety of stickers to choose from. So, for example there is a picture with 2 cows and a barn. You can move 3 stickers to the bottom of the
screen and tell the child to "Put the cat on the black cow, the dog next to the barn. You can save your pictures for the next session and alter the activity (reducing or adding directions) as needed. $1.99

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Maverick Software - "More Grillin" App and More!

Maverick Software is a name to remember. Their apps are only .99 (except for More buffet) and they are all related to food topics. They are similar to the Shoe the Goose apps (e.g. cookie doodle) with an added attraction of sound activation. Click on link to take you to the App Store or type name in App Store located at the top left of this screen. I personally purchased "More Grillin" which is perfect to use this time of year. You grill all different types of food on the grill (as it makes a sizzling and flipping sound) , add bread, sauce, toppings, side dishes and dessert. I really like this app for sequencing following directions and MLU (especially agent + action + object, e.g. I'm eating hamburger.) It gives you instructions as you go from one step to the next. First you choose the food you want to grill by tapping on the picture at the top of the screen and then tapping on the grill. You tap the word "cook" and it sizzles. There is an actual flame on the grill. You then can flip the food and then add food to your plate by tapping food from the top of the screen and then tapping plate. You can then add sauce,toppings, a side dish and dessert. This app was a real hit with the preschoolers. This may be a nice app to use with children who are picky eaters as well. Here is a list of other $.99 cents apps for the iphone an ipad, and links offered by Maverick Software:
More Donuts, Cupcakes, More Breakfast, More Pie, More Toast, More Sundaes, More Cookies, More Popcorn, Snackerdoodle, More Salad, More Pizza,

More buffet (1.99....250 foods from 19 countries )
If you decide to purchase any of these apps, be cautious of the company, Sunstorm Interactive - they have similar titles and offer products for free. The screen is difficult to read, there are numerous ads, pictures are poor quality, and there is not much for free.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I just added more time saving forms I've used for years when working with language delayed children. They can be found in Ricki's Printable Forms at  First vocabulary, First Functional Vocabulary (based on Bloom & Lahey) , Question Hierarchy  and Be Good Speech Model.

New Resources Added

New Articulation resources are posted in the Resources Section - you can download free pictures for every sound.  
Kidssoup has been added to the Resource section under themes. Subscription is only $26.99 a year and well worth it.  Many of our therapists use this site.    Save time and money.Get instant online access to more than 5,700 theme-based preschool and kindergarten teaching resources and crafts.Covers all the topics and themes you want to teach throughout the year.  Store and organize your favorite resources in your own filing cabinet in your Resource Box.
Welcome Everyone!