PrAACtical Thinking Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

Published on December 6th, 2012 | by Robin Parker

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Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

The holidays are prAACtically here and depending upon the holiday traditions you celebrate they may be closer than you realize.  Time seems to fly after Thanksgiving and before you know it, social norms seem to dictate gift exchanges, lots of invitations to people’s houses, and of course many gifts for friends and family.  An easy way to accomplish gift giving is to ‘gift an app’. You can give apps that are pure fun, educational or a combination of both.  To top it off, it is easy to stay within budget, avoid traffic, avoid crowds, and save tons of time (no need to wait for it to arrive).

Before you think it’s too complicated, check out these ‘Gifting an App’ instructions by Cult of Mac.  The process could not be simpler and you can email the recipient(s) or print out a gift certificate (if necessary right before the gift is needed).  All you need to know is your iTunes account and password (your apple ID) and your recipients name and email.  The only ‘time drain’ is deciding which apps to ‘gift. So here 10 general app suggestions for communication facilitators and learners.

A General Collection (next post is on apps of special interests)

5 For the Communication Facilitator (i.e., mom, dad, teachers, caregivers, etc.)

Choice Works- $6.99- an essential learning tool for helping children learn to independently follow routines, understand & control feelings and improve waiting skills (taking turns and not interrupting). It’s really like 3 apps in 1. Super easy way to create mini and daily schedules, personal participation/companion books. Fun and Educational focus is on independence, feelings, and language.

Pictello- $18.99- a great app to create talking picture albums and social stories.  Educational focus is on telling about past and future events, and understanding social expectations (although fully customizable so many additional goals can be embedded into using this app.

Fat Cat Santa Chat-.99-  a ‘small talk’ AAC app that is easy to use and gives the user a quick and easy way to participate in holiday ‘small talk’. Educational focus is on expressive communication. Can also focus on politeness, humor, and social language during the holidays.

Easy as Pie- $2.99- Baking is fun when doing it together. This app shows you how-to create 20 homemade pies, doughs, and toppings with step-by-step video recipes. Fun and education focus is on communication, language, literacy, and math.  Can also focus on following video model, cooking independence, and of course eating.

Serenity- $1.99- Help someone de-stress with the Serenty app.  a collection of beautiful, tranquil
destinations in your iPad.  Focus is on taking a moment or several hours of relaxation. Can be used just by the facilitator or by the learner as well.

5 For the Learner (child through adolescent) :

Hanukah Color- $2.99-  Make Hanukkah last all month long with this big holiday coloring book! Fun and educational focus is on word knowledge, language, and literacy.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas $2.99 (on sale for 1 week)- Dr. Seuss interactive storybook app. Voice recordings can be made and then shared with firends, teachers, and families. Fun and educational focus is on literacy and language.  

Tapikeo- $3.99- Easily and quickly create audio-enabled picturebooks, storyboards, and audio flashcards.  Fun and educational focus is on creative language and literacy expression.

Toca Hair Salon (and for older  learners Hair Salon 2, which is coming out on December 13)- $1.99.    Fun and educational focus on language and communication with specific attention on choice making and commenting.

Toontastic All Access- Toontastic is a storytelling and creative learning app that enables kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons.  The All Access app lets you use all of the ‘toys’ to create (characters, scenery, props etc.).  There is a free version (definitely worth checking out) however, free can not be gifted.  Fun and educational focus is on  language and literacy.

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About the Author

Robin Parker

Robin Parker Robin Parker is a professor of speech language pathology who has loved supporting the communication and language of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders for more than 20 years. One of her professional passions is spreading the word about PrAACtical AAC. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Helen Keller



8 Responses to Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

  1. CC says:

    Great list!! Thanks!!

  2. Thank you so much for including Pictello in this list. We are honored.

    • Carole Zangari Carole Zangari says:

      We both enjoy using it, Laura, and find it really helpful. We love the flexibility and the way it really allows us to use it for many purposes. It has been one of our ‘go to’ tools for awhile now. :)

  3. Bron says:

    We love Pictello in our house! Cooper uses it for school at sharing time or presenting projects that other kids would write & verbalise x

    • Robin Parker Robin Parker says:

      Thanks so much for writing. Love how your son is using it! It really makes kids be part of the class. We also love how you can share experiences with grandparents, family friends, etc. both when they visit and through the sharing feature. There are so many options for learning language with Pictello.

  4. Jennifer Marden says:

    And don’t forget, Pictello is 30% off until January 1st! Our apps very rarely go on sale, so if you are interested in Pictello, now’s the time :-)

  5. Kristine says:

    Is there a English version of Pictello? The version I see in AppStore looks like it is in French.

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