Friday, March 8, 2013

Pep, Pepi Hooray!

I love the iPad.  Love it a lot.  I love it for all the things I can do with it personally (write emails, check the internet) and professionally (write reports).  And I really love that I can use it at work and help my kids works towards learning new skills.  It's an incredibly motivating tool and if used in moderation along with other therapeutic techniques, I have found that the kids I work with are more eager to be challenged.

At the recommendation of a colleague, I downloaded Pepi Tree created by Pepi Play.  She raved about what a great app it was and how much her daughter, very close in age to my own almost 3 year old, loved the game.  Of course, I had had to download it and test it myself.  I am so glad I did!   It is a great game and is already bringing much enjoyment at home and at work.

Pepi Tree is a beautifully designed app.  The graphics are wonderful and very kid-friendly.  The music that is playing during the games is soothing and not too fast paced which helps keeps the attention and focus of the kids while they are playing.  The animals are super cute and some of them are uncommon enough that you can make it a learning experience for some of your kids.  Best part is that I have found that the games are simple enough (but not too simple that your child will get bored) that they can be successful independently.  A great way to build self-esteem and confidence.

There are six games included in this app.  When you open the app, you will see a tree and each level of the tree contains a different animal/game.  The six games included in Pepi Tree are perfect for pre-schoolers.  However, the animals are cute and the activities are engaging enough for younger school-age children as well.  I know that my 7 1/2 year old niece will love this game the next time she gets hold of my iPad!

It's hard to pick my favorite because they are all great and so different from each other.  For the sake of this post, I will choose one.  The level with the owl might be the one I have played the most.  It begins with an owl during the day and then it quickly turns into night and you have to use his eyes like a flashlight.  You drag the light around the screen until you see another animal; once you find it, you tap on it and then have to drag it into the matching shape on the bottom.  As an OT, I love that you can work on visual tracking, eye hand coordination, matching/visual perceptual skills and finger isolation all in one game!  The kids I work with have had so much fun with this part of the game.

I have already listed some of the skills that can be focused on with Pepi Tree but here are a few more.  This is a motivating game that can work on:

*Visual tracking-when matching the shapes, your child will be required to find the shape and then move it into the correct spot.  During the spider game, you have to visually follow/track the flying bugs and either feed them to the spider or put them in the spider web.
*Matching-in the owl game (my favorite despite of the raccoon) you have to match the animals you find to the shadows provided below.
*Modulation/regulation-when feeding the squirrels, your child has to focus and not rush to feed the squirrels the acorn with the worm in it or the mushrooms.  They have to take a moment to make sure that the item the squirrel is holding is one that their fellow squirrels will eat.
*Develop finger isolation/pointing skills-I try and encourage the children I work with to use their pointer finger when playing this game.  The spider game is ideal for encouraging finger isolation.  After building a spider web, you have to catch the bugs with your finger (again, I encourage using just the pointer finger) and drag them into either the spider's mouth or stick them in the spider web.
*Upper extremity strength-when working at the gym with the kids, I will have them play this game while lying on their belly on the net swing.  This way they can work on building their upper extremity and neck strength at the same time.  The game is so engaging that the kids forget that they are getting tired!
*Social skills-as always, I feel like it is important to try and build in a social aspect to the iPad when possible.  I have used this game in my social skills group with preschoolers and it was great for turn-taking and problem solving.  One of my favorite things to do is to have a child who may have played the game before give the directions to his/her friends.  This will also work on improving self-esteem and language skills.

I would love to hear which of the 6 games is your favorite and why.  I am just a click away and always excited to hear from my readers and answer any questions you might have.

 If you want to check the game out before downloading, check out the cute video on Pepi Play's website.  I guarantee you will be running to your phone or iPad to download this great game!

Happy Friday to you all!

No comments:

Post a Comment