Monday, December 19, 2016

Using Timers in Therapy and at Home!

Timers have been a saving grace for me as both a therapist and as a mom. I use a timer on a regular basis and for SO many reasons. In therapy I use a timer for keeping kids on track and focused on a task for a certain amount of time, for alerting me when the session is over, for alerting the students when their work time is up and they get the reward they were working for. At home I use a timer to help speed up my slow eater at dinner time when we have dance class in an hour, so my daughter will brush her teeth for more than 12 seconds, and so I don't burn dinner! It's a beautiful thing when you can use the techniques you use in therapy at home with your own children! 
I have used many different timers over the years, but I just recently learned about Outloud Timer 2 and I am in love. This timer is a visual timer. I have used a countdown timer before, but this one gives younger children that don't quite understand that concept a true understanding of time and how much time they have left on a task. 
When you open the app, it prompts you to set a time. This can be in minutes or seconds. After the timer is set, you will see an outdoor scene. You or the child can draw a path anywhere on the screen for the penguin to go. After the path is drawn, the penguin starts his journey to the circus tent!
I love this app because my daughter and students can really understand how much time they have left since they can see how fast the penguin is moving and how far away the penguin is from the tent while he/she is working. The number countdown is still available at the bottom right side of the screen, but where the penguin is on the screen is such as great visual for younger kids!
Once the timer is up, stars fly across the screen and the children will hear applause! 
The Outloud Timer2 app is available in the iTunes store. You can download it on both the iPad and your iPhone. I love having it on my phone for spontaneous needs of a timer! Check out more about this app in the iTunes store, here!
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this app in exchange for a review, however, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gone Fishin' for Good Speech!

Maybe it's just me, but I have a habit of rotating therapy games. Since I am a traveling SLP, I can't carry my entire inventory of games on me at all times (trust me, I have tried!) So I tend to carry the same game or two around with me for a few weeks before I switch it out for another. 
(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That means if you purchase something from Amazon using my link, I my earn a few bucks!)
Lately, this Let's Go Fishing game has been a HUGE hit and requested daily. When the kids love a game this much, my first reaction is to create an activity that will allow them to use the beloved game while working on their goals at the same time. 
So I created Gone Fishing for Articulation Mats! To play, have your students take turns fishing. When they catch a fish, have them put the fish on the mat on top of one of the target words. They can practice the word or make up a sentence for the word, depending on their skill level. But there really are a ton of ways you can use these mats, I have even used them as smash mats!
My daughter got this game for Christmas last year and loved it so much, I knew my students would too. I found the game on Amazon for $7.99! You can check it out, here.  Happy fishing!!