A great way to incorporate technology into anytime fun with children and adults is to use storytelling apps. These apps are particularly helpful to use during the summer as you experience new things such as summer camp or have new adventures, such as a family vacation.
Many storytelling apps are as simple to use as making a picture collage—ideal for someone who is nonverbal—or as in-depth as creating a social story for summer activities. With these types of apps, you can prepare someone for what is going to happen, record information while it is happening and then organize it and add text to remember and assist with the retelling of the experience. When back to school rolls around, these apps can facilitate introductions to a new teacher and help kids and adults answer the sure-to-be-asked question “What did you do this summer?”
Below are a few favorite apps for creating stories, keeping up academic skills during the summer break and stimulating ideas for being creative.
by Penguin Group USA
Mad Libs is a fun app where users make up silly stories by filling in sentence blanks with nouns, adjectives, verbs and other word types. It teaches grammar, sentence structure, parts of speech and vocabulary. Mad Libs can be played alone or as a great form of educational entertainment on long road trips.
Storehouse – Visual Storytelling
This app touts the collage-like functionality of Pinterest with the social media popularity of Facebook. Geared towards teens and young adults, this app has been trialed with the teenage population who found success by easily creating stories with creative layouts of photos, text and videos. Users can create professional-looking montages that can then be shared online via email, Facebook or Twitter.
by Cardinal Blue
Pic Collage is a great app for sharing pictures on a trip. Pic Collage allows users to make a collage using their camera roll on their iPad or Google Images. Students with special needs love this app. They can easily add stickers, text, fonts and frames to their photo collage. Then they can share their collage on social media sites.
Kid in Story Book Maker
by Locomotive Labs
Kid in Story Book Maker app is a wonderful way to document and share your trip. While on vacation, kids can take pictures of themselves or background pictures alone and create the story of the trip later. Children love telling stories of things they experienced so this app is a great way for them to write their own personal story.
Price: Free, (Full version $6.99)
by Good Karma Apps
Scene Speak is a unique app for children to create interactive visual scene displays and social stories. Users upload images and add “hotspots”. A hotspot is an area of the screen with sound, text labels or links to another visual scene. What a fun way to remember a trip!
If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information about using mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and Android) with people who have special needs.
Cristen Reat is co-founder of BridgingApps and a mother who found success when using a mobile device with her children who have special needs.