Fun / Motivation / Rewards

This page features non-educational apps that I allow my students to play for a few minutes at the end of a session as a reward, if they've earned it! I have found this to be a great substitute for traditional prize boxes, motivational charts, stickers, etc. It has an added social benefit beyond the therapy session of introducing some of my less fortunate students to aspects of popular culture that their peers are talking about. Using the iPad in speech therapy may be the only time they are exposed to popular games like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, or to TV characters only available on cable.
How I use this app in speech therapy:

From App of the Week, April 1, 2012: In honor of Spring Break, and via a recommendation from my friend Nicole, I’ve decided to make Marble Mixer the app of the week. It’s not therapeutic in any way, however it is, as my nephew would say, “Epic”. So, here’s the best part about this app: You can use it with 1-4 players (aka Articulation group). Within the game there are three separate games. For young students there’s Monster Picnic in which players try to get marbles into the mouth of a very hungry pig like monster. This is a free for all game (everyone plays at once) and you are timed as his mouth rotates around in a circle, his eyes blink, and he makes a chomping sound when a marble goes in his mouth. As the game progresses he spins faster and faster and then burps up a special button for the winner (hysterical).

Here’s the therapy part. Using multitasking gestures (iOS) you can transport yourself back to a day before the iPad when games were played during articulation therapy. In traditional articulation therapy, the more words practiced via drill the more accurate student productions, but the more boring therapy is. Open up ArtikPix or Articulation Station and then open Marble Mixer. You can multitask between the two. When you return to the Marble mixer you can select resume game and pick up where you left off. Practice then play then practice. How about: 10 words then 1 minute of game, 10 words 1 minute of game, etc. I don’t know about you, but believe it or not, some of my students are getting bored with matching games. Using Multitasking gestures has opened up a whole new world!!

Multitasking gestures can be found in settings under “General”. Turn it on and then practice. Open Articulation app and game. When the game is active, use 4 fingers to swipe up from the bottom to reveal multitasking bar or on and swipe right or left between apps using 4 fingers.

Back to the game. In addition to Monster Picnic there’s also Space Mania and Table Tactics. Space Mania requires a little more skill because the object of the game is similar to curling (the ice game in the Olympics with the brooms). Do not try to get the ball in the center hole. That will not get you any points, as I found out. Try instead to aim the ball to the side and have it land in a scoring ring. You can also knock others out of the way to score more points. You can use this game as a free for all game or take turns, lowering the scores. The last game, Table Tactics, is a turn taking game and requires an even higher skill level. This is a good option if you have older students.

Marble Mixer for iPad