15 Speech Therapy Apps to Use at Home
The popular opinion is that kids are getting too much screen time nowadays. While we may not introduce apps in all of our speech therapy sessions, iPads and iPhones can be very effective in developing some speech and language goals! A study in 2014 gave tablets to Speech Language Pathologists to use with their patients, and when they were asked to rate how the apps compared to traditional therapy tools on a scale of 1-10 (10 being a lot more effective), the apps had an average rating of 8.43!
Speech therapy is becoming more and more tech-oriented, and with the current COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll, online resources are proving to be both beneficial and necessary! For this blog post, we’ve combed through our selection of apps to bring you the best ones available to use at home or screen-share with your SLP during virtual speech therapy.
This bright and colourful app is considered a must-have for so many SLPs, and for good reason! Matching games and flashcards help kids learn challenging new sounds, and it has an easy to use layout, making it a great tool for therapy sessions or for at-home use with a parent.
Download it for free on the app store and you’ll have access to the ‘p’ sound. Additional sounds can be purchased individually, ranging from $2.79 to $10.99 each for trickier sounds like ‘r’. The pro version of the app costs $84.99 but is on sale during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adults and older kids will probably find Word Vault to be more their style. The app comes with a variety of categories including Articulation, Language, Phonology and Social (conversation starters, jokes, etc.). Users of the app can benefit from having a partner follow along with them, since this app is geared more towards therapy sessions.
It’s free to download, or for the pro version (which has images, sounds, games, and the full set of words) subscriptions are $8.49 a month. With a 30-day free trial, you can test out the full features to see if the app suits you.
Sago Mini World:
Teach your little ones about following instructions and 2-word expansions by taking them through mini games and bright new ‘worlds’. Explore a wide variety of challenges in ‘Pet Cafe’, ‘Trucks and Diggers’, ‘Fairy Tales’ and more. To gain access to the full pack of 30+ games, the first month is $0.99 and $7.99 per month afterwards.
This adorable app for kids two and up helps with the development of first words by learning animal sounds. Prompt them by asking who’s behind the door or by having them mimic the animal sound. It’s also great when working with hearing loss and Auditory Verbal Therapy. Find the Lite version (3 animals) on the app store for free, or download the full set with the option to record your own voice for $2.79.
When your kiddo is ready for more developed language concepts like following complex instructions, pronouns, vocabulary, prepositions, and articles, My Playhome is a great way to familiarize them with later language skills. As you move through different rooms in the house, you’ll have a variety of interaction between you, the child, and the scene.
WH Questions - Why?:
Your child will be given a cartoon scene where they fill in a few missing puzzle pieces. The app will then ask why the event happened, and your child can respond verbally.
Build your child’s narrative skills through this interactive storytelling app. In the short story mode, you’ll choose characters and scenes to fill the beginning, middle, and end of your creation. Voice recording also helps kids to express themselves verbally and explain what’s going on in the scene.
Conversation Therapy Lite:
This app is great for adults recovering from a stroke or even for those on the autism spectrum; each photo comes with a set of 10 prompts and questions to spark conversation about the scene. The trial version currently has 3 photos and the full version has a set of 300+ topics for $34.99.
Language Therapy Lite:
For adults struggling with literacy, this app combines comprehension, reading, writing and naming exercises. The free version comes with 5 prompts per category, or the full version can be purchased for $104.99.
This is another app designed for those recovering from a stroke. Divided into 3 sections (sequences, phrases and long words), you’ll listen and watch as a video demonstrates how to form the sounds. Use the microphone feature to hear your voice played back or to share it with a speech therapist or family member. The full version is $34.99.
When your child is on a roll, reward them with this silly app. Booba lets you interact with the character by using various tools. He’ll also repeat what you say in a funny voice.
Bamba Ice Cream Shop:
Kids will love creating their own ice cream flavour and adding toppings to their heart’s content. If you want to continue practicing conversation, have them tell you about the steps they take -- this app is great for later language and complex instructions, too.
Toca Kitchen Monsters:
Pick which monster you want to serve up some food to, and get creative! Regulate how long your kiddo gets to play by giving them a number of tasks to complete before getting back into the therapy session. All the Toca apps are pretty great reinforcers.
Sensory Speak Up:
This app helps people of all ages to visualize the volume they speak at. Bright patterns will expand and contract as you alter your volume.
Speak Up Too:
This version of the previous app is similar to the last, but it makes things more enticing for kids; pick your animation and get talking!
If you have any apps that you think are great, feel free to share them by commenting!
Little Bee Speech. (2015, September 8). Retrieved from http://www.littlebeespeech.com/blog/is-the-tablet-an-effective-therapy-tool-for-speech-language-pathologists/
Andalusia Speech Therapy has two Toronto speech therapy clinics and offers speech teletherapy to anywhere in the world. Contact us more for information.