My PlayHome app is one of my new favorite educational apps to use. It is fun and engaging and can be used to target many different language skills. Kids love moving around the characters and enjoy exercising their independence while playing this game. The premise is to use the characters in different home scenarios. You can sit at a table and eat, go to the room and sleep, make pizza in the kitchen. Things you do at home–hence the name My PlayHome. Ha!
Take turns between letting them move the characters as they would like and practicing on skills you’d like to target. Make sure to gain their attention (looking at you) when you want a question answered or a direction followed. It is also helpful to explain that you are having “special learning time,” so they know you are going to be playing on the app together and there are learning/expectations involved.
So, here’s the screen time debate again. I say obviously use your discretion. You’re all good parents, you know what’s best. Educational apps are another great tool to help develop speech and language skills, in addition to books, toys, and activities at home.
You can use the app as a way to motivate your child to practice difficult sounds. Then, as a reward, he gets to play on the app, which is also educational. So, win-win for you! Have your kid practice the sound they are working on in words (using a word list) and then after every five trials, he can take a turn on the game.
Expanding Sentence Length and Complete Sentences
Let’s talk about sentences, baby. Ha! Have your kid produce a grammatically correct sentence about what his character is doing in the app. For example, “The mom is eating the pizza.” “The girl is sleeping in the bed.” You can also help him expand his sentence by brainstorming words to add at the end to make the sentence longer. So, if your child says, “The baby is eating,” you could say “The baby is eating in…” and he can finish with “in the kitchen” or “in the high chair.”
Your kid can practice starting his sentences with “he,” “she” or “they” based on what his character is doing.
Have your kid listen to your direction, and then he has to make his character in the My PlayHome app follow your command. For example, “Put the pajamas on the baby.”
To target answering questions, ask him various –wh questions (who, what, when, where, why) as they are playing the game. “Where did you place the momma?” “What is the baby doing?” “Why do we have to wash our hands?”
You can easily work on sharing and taking turns with this game. This app is so fun and engaging that it might be hard for a kid to share/pass to another person for their turn. So, grab a timer for the rescue. Set the timer for a minute or two and when it goes off, your kid has to give you a chance to play.
I heart educational apps! Not all technology is bad!
What apps do you love? Get it below: