Where is the Cake? for Language Development

The Skinny: Where is the Cake? and its sequel Where is the Cake Now? are wonderful illustrated books without any words. Taking away the text can be great for some children who are nervous about reading, and prompt them to create their own narratives about the pictures. What it is: Where is the Cake? and Where is…

Where is the Cake? for Language Development was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Visual Timer App for Understanding Time Duration

The Skinny: This is a nice, simple visual timer system for kids to see how much longer they need to work on a task and get a break, or even as simple as how long it takes to bake the cookies.  It helps my kid understand when I say, “Give me 5 minutes” and he is…

Visual Timer App for Understanding Time Duration was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Toontastic for Language and Story Sequencing

The Skinny: This particular app has already been given Apple’s “App store Hall of Fame” status. So you know it’s pretty good. Toontastic is an amazing game that you can use to build language and story sequencing. It is simply designed to show how a story goes from beginning to climax to the end. They even integrate music so…

Toontastic for Language and Story Sequencing was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Mr. Potato Head for Language and learning body parts

The Skinny: Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are great open-ended activities prompting language, learning about body parts, and practicing pretend play skills.  What it is: Mr./Mrs. Potato Head  (any version)  What it’s used for: Language – teaching requesting,”more”, body parts, and colors, following directions  Ways to use it: Language: Withhold Potato Heads parts momentarily to prompt your kid to…

Mr. Potato Head for Language and learning body parts was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Shout Out Shirt for Language Development and Spelling

The Skinny: Okay, I think this is one of the simplest, yet coolest products out there!  It’s very simple in the sense that your kid can wear a different message every day.  But, the best part about it is it allows your child to enjoy playing with language.  See some of the pictures I took just playing…

Shout Out Shirt for Language Development and Spelling was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Djubi for Motor Planning and Hand-Eye Coordination

djubi for motor planningThe Skinny: I came across this very clever toy that is great for motor planning and hand-eye coordination, as well as it is really fun to play!  It is called Djubi (pronounced Joo-bee).  As you can see from the picture, it’s a net with a hook on it.  You simply shoot the ball (similar to a sling shot, but easier) to your friend and they catch it with their net.  The ball is soft, so it doesn’t hurt if it hits you, and you can do it very softly to build confidence.

What it is: Djubi (Joo-bee)

What it’s used for: Motor Planning and Hand-Eye coordination

Ways to use it:

  • Motor Planning:
    • As you can see from the photo on the lower right, it takes a bit of motor planning to launch a Djubi.  And with this game, I would build up to it in two steps:
      • Just throw the ball to your friend, and let them catch it.  Start with the simple piece of underhand and then progress to “step-and-throw” overhand.
      • After they have that figured out, then move to the sling-shot action.  On the top of each of the nets is a little hook.  This hook is used for hooking the rubber band from the ball on.  Then, pull back and let go!  It’s pretty simple, but can be a bit tricky if you have some challenges.  Keep going until you get it!
  • Hand-Eye Coordination:
    • This is the other side of the game.  Catching the ball.
      • Start off slow, just underhand it to your kid to have them watch the ball into the net at slower speeds.
      • Increase the distance until they can catch it from across the yard.  Many kids have a difficult time with items coming directly at them.  Teach them to catch it off to the side, to alleviate some of these challenges.
      • Once they have the underhand in control, then move to sling-shotting the ball to them.  It will be farther distances and faster speeds, so it’s important to progress up to this level.

And don’t forget to HAVE FUN!!!

djubi for motor planningWhere to find it: Find Djubi on Amazon.

The Source: Found it in a toy store in South Bend.

Djubi for Motor Planning and Hand-Eye Coordination was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Propeller for Motor Planning and Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand powered flying propeller for motor planning and hand-eye coordinationThe Skinny: This is an inexpensive, yet very fun toy for kids to play with.  It may take a bit of practice to get the coordination to get the propeller to lift off.  But, once you have it down, it’s a lot of fun.  It’s also a great feeling to know that your own power can get something to fly! (You can see my kid doing it below…)

What it is: Hand powered propeller (dragonfly)

What it’s used for: Motor planning and hand-eye coordination

Ways to use it:

  • Motor Planning:
    1. You can start with either 2 or 3 below, depending on where you feel your kid is developmentally ready.
    2. I would start off with mom or dad just flying the propeller in the air and having your kid catch it.
    3. Have your kid just spin the propeller to get it to lift off, don’t worry about catching it till later.
    4. Lastly, have them both spin and catch the propeller.  It takes a bit of practice, but it’s a lot of fun, and once you do it a few times, it’s very rewarding to know you have accomplished it.

Where to find it: With over 180 ratings at over 4 stars, here on Amazon

The Source: Just watching my kid!

YouTube Preview Image

Propeller for Motor Planning and Hand-Eye Coordination was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Screwball Scramble for Motor Planning and Language

Screwball Scramble for motor planning and languageThe Skinny: This is a fun Rube Goldberg type game that really works on your motor planning.  It’s a cross between a marble run game and the board game Mousetrap.  There are 7 obstacles to move your ball through.  Each one has its own joystick or button to maneuver the ball with.  The goal is to move the ball through the course.

What it is: Screwball Scramble

What it’s used for: Motor Planning and Language

Ways to use it:

  • Motor Planning:
    • I would start with just successfully doing one task, then move up from there, one at a time.
    • I would progress to setting up sequences to solve, to encourage their constant accomplishments
    • Lastly, once they have solved the entire board.  I would pull out the timer.  For some kids, competing against their own time or that of a friend, is a great motivator.  The goal with having your child do this task faster and faster is that they are working from muscle memory, versus thinking through every step.  Similar to breathing, you don’t realize that you are doing it, but you are.  You don’t think about it, you just do it.  Like walking.  We want the fingers and the brain to work simultaneously.
  • Screwball Scramble for motor planning and languageLanguage:
    • For language, I would be constantly describing all the different segments with unique descriptive words: Lever boards, rails, tubes, ringing bell, etc.  There are several different areas to describe that you can build multiple new words into your child’s vocabulary.
    • Then, if your child is ready for it, and the game motivates them, you can have them name pieces of the game with the new words you have just taught them.  “Label 3 items to the get the next ball to play with” It’s a bit ABA, but it does get the repetitive practice in.

Where to find it: With 4+ stars on Amazon here!

The Source: Found it at a toy store in South Bend

Screwball Scramble for Motor Planning and Language was originally published on KidConnectionZ

Code4Armour for Medical and Safety Issues

The Skinny: Code4Armour is a unique device that acts as a medical wristband. Essentially replacing your medical ID alert bracelet with a wristband that contains an RFID device. This allows any medical responder with an iPhone and an app access to all your child’s relevant medical information. I like this for some kids with challenges because if they have limited language, or neurological issues, or anything that can render their ability to communicate effectively, then this can be a perfect solution. They are currently funding on Indiegogo.  I have yet to try one out to see if it passes muster, because they are still in their funding phase, but it appears to be a fabulous device and can’t wait to get my hands on one to share my experiences with you. If you have a child that elopes this would be a great device as well, because it can help your child get back home when they are lost. Go over to their site and check them out.

What it is: Code4Armour

What it’s used for: Medical information for kids with language challenges.  Kids that elope frequently.

Ways to use it:

  • Medical:
      • You simply wear it on your wrist.  In case of an emergency, a medical responder scans the wristband and the information is pulled up.

    Where to find it: The products website is located here: Code4Armour.com

    Their Indiegogo site for crowdfunding this brand-new state-of-the-art product is here.

    The Source: Code4Armour. I connected with them through Twitter, and was really engaged with what this product can potentially do.

code4armour for medical

Code4Armour for Medical and Safety Issues was originally published on KidConnectionZ