We have all seen the commercials; catchy music tunes paired with myriad of all the remarkable things you can do with your Smartphone. With these high tech gadgets offering so much mobility, functionality and quintessential coolness, it is no wonder all kinds of therapists are bringing their tablets, Android devices, iPads and the likes into their practice. Apart from using these devices for their text-to-speech functionality, as well as for practice management and documentation purposes, pediatric occupational therapists can also use them to aid in development and treatment. Which child doesn’t want to play with an iPad? Here are some of the most amazing apps for pediatric occupational therapists.
For fine motor and spatial reasoning
This is an app that features a set of activities that help teach spatial reasoning skills. The app helps kids develop an understanding of the right and left in addition to mapping and math skills.
The app features a set of hand exercises that help to improve handwriting and fine motor skills. Through the multi-touch interface of a touch screen Smartphone such as an iPad, patients can enhance control, dexterity and strength with this app.
• iDoodle Card:
This app is great for working visual perceptual and basic visual motor skills. It features 54 different drawing activities- everything from coloring, mazes, drawing and the likes. The app has an eraser and six primary colored markers. Users can save their creation for later use or improvements.
• Cut the Buttons:
This app keeps the patient fully occupied and entertained cutting buttons. It is very interactive in that the user must use a virtual scissors to cut buttons of pieces of fabric. He must use his index finger and thumb to open and close the scissors accordingly. There is a container at the bottom which the user is encouraged to catch the falling buttons in.
This app offers activities that teach patients to write. In the process, their motor and handwriting skills are improved.
• Cookie Doodle:
This app gets kids all creative and everyone hungry. It is used to help kids improve fine motor skills by being creative making, baking, storing, eating and decorating cookies. The app has 24 recipes that actually let the user pour in the vanilla, shake the salt, crack the eggs and interact with other ingredients.
For sensory, cause and effect
• Light Box:
This app offers 21 abstract scenes that encourage the exploration of different gestures, taps and touches. Although the app was originally created for teens with autism, intellectual disabilities and visual impairments, it is now widely used by other patients with other special needs.
• Fun Bubbles:
Children of all ages use this app to create and pop brilliantly colored bubbles on the screen. By so doing, it helps to improve their fine motor skills while having tons of fun.
• Pocket Pond:
This app allow kids listen to the sounds of nature while interacting with frogs and fish on the screen. Fingers are used to scare them, watch and feed them. See water ripple in response to their touch.
• Heat Pad:
Provide patients with a realistic simulation of varied heat-sensitive surfaces that react to the heat of their fingertips. This improves their understanding of cause and effect.
The above list of pediatric occupational apps is not all inclusive; however, these are some of the most commonly used by professionals in the pediatric occupational therapy field.