Friday, March 1, 2013

Endless fun learning your alphabet

Every once in a while I find out about a new app and have to share it with everyone.  Endless Alphabet is one of those apps.  I saw it on Cool Mom Pics about a month ago and immediately downloaded it to my phone.  It was love at first sight and as soon as I got home I put it on my iPad and introduced it to Quinn.  While she is not even 3 years old and doesn't know all her letters (we are working on it...I promise!), she has been hooked on the game ever since.

The reasons to love this game are, well, endless.  And the occupational therapy and speech therapy goals that can be addressed using this game are, again, endless.  Because there are so many great things about Endless Alphabet, I am going to make this easy and make a list for you all.  Before getting to that list, let me tell you about the game.  There is a word or words for each letter of the alphabet.  You choose the word and a bunch of really cute monsters come knock the letters out of their spots.  Your job is to put all the letters back into the correct place.

A.)  Letter Recognition-motivating way to work on introducing letters (and their sounds) to early learners.  Every time you pick a letter, it will tell you the sound it makes.  As you place it into the correct place in the word, it will repeat the name of the letter.
B.)  Matching (Visual Motor and Visual Perceptual skills)-this game is great for working on matching and visual motor skills.
C.)  Visual Tracking-a child has to look at the whole iPad screen and look (track) to find the letters to go in the correct spot.  Once they find them, they have to make sure that they are dragging them into the correct space.
D.)  Grasping-I tend to have my kids at work use a stylus when using this app.  This way we can not only work on the aforementioned goals, we can also work on encouraging a proper grasp.
E.)  Sequencing-for the older children, I not only encourage, I demand that they put the letters back in in the proper order.  That way they can begin to learn how to spell the words they are working on.  This also helps with improving organization skills, which so many of the kids I work with lack.

F.)  Increase attention/focus-if you are working on improving a child's attention and focus, you can set goals like you have to complete 7 words before being able to move onto the next activity.
G.)  Improve graphomotor skills-for my older kids who are also working on handwriting goals, I will have them write the words they have just "fixed".  For those who struggle with handwriting, being able to play a game and possibly learn a new word and then writing that word is much more fun for them.

H.)  Learn phonics-every time you pick up a letter, they make the sound that the letter makes.  Quinn loves this part of the game and has already started pointing to letters and telling us the sound it makes. Proof that if you make something fun your child can learn skills much faster.

I.)  Add new words to your child's vocabulary-while there are many familiar words in the Endless Alphabet library, there are also many new words for your child to learn.  After you complete putting all the letters into the correct spot, there is a short video that defines the word in a very entertaining way.  
J.)  This app is FREE-endless hours of alphabet fun for free.  Endless hours of alphabet learning for free.  Did I mention this app is free?

K.)  New words added weekly-you would think that for that large price-tag you would only get a few words.  Nope.  There is at least one word for each letter and new words and monsters are added weekly.  It is important to agree to the push notifications for this app so you can be alerted of the weekly updates. 
After a few minutes of playing this (not my daughter, not the kids I work with, ME!), I reached out to my speech therapy friends with iPads and told them that they had to download this game immediately.  I could see all the benefits for me as an occupational therapist, but knew that my speech friends would be addicted to it.  I was totally right.  Here is what speech therapist and my good friend Jacki Barredo had to say about Endless Alphabet:

Endless Alphabet is a speech therapist's dream! It's a great way for kids to practice listening to and producing individual speech sounds, while increasing their vocabulary skills.  It also incorporates sound-letter recognition skills, matching skills, and spelling skills.  And it really holds the kids' attention!  The videos which depict each word are funny and engaging, too.  Speech therapists will love how easily Endless Alphabet can be modified and navigated through to set up each child for success.

Parents, OTs, and other teaching professionals will love this app, too!
 #brilliant :)

This app has already brought hours of learning and enjoyment to not only the kids I work with, but also to my almost 3 year old daughter.  I know that my 4 1/2 and 7 1/2 year old nieces are loving this game as well which proves that this is a game that can be used for children of all ages.  It's no secret that I am a fan of the iPad in therapy, but if it can be used at home with all children, I love it even more.  I think this game is a brilliantly designed game and motivating for children of all ages and abilities which makes it a complete winner in my book, or really on my iPad.  

I would love to hear what you all think of this app.  Do you have a favorite word (mine are Juggle and Gargantuan)?   Shoot me an email or share your comments with the readers if you have any questions or comments about Endless Alphabet.  As always, I am just a click away and love to hear from my readers.  If you have specific questions for Jacki regarding speech and language skills and/or goals, let me know and I will get your questions to her.  

Hoping you and your lovies have endless fun with Endless Alphabet!

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your blog! I heard of it via Natalie Leland, a friend of mine from my PhD studies. I have a 1 year old daughter and am looking forward to the day she is old enough to enjoy some of your recommendations. There are so many toys out there. It is very helpful to know your recommendations to help find the ones that are fun and educational. I just linked this post to my pinterest account and hope it will help bring more traffic to your site!