Following on from my blog on using cooking apps, here’s some ideas for using art based apps to stimulate functional language and talking with small groups of children – ideal for school based language groups.
Describing what someone else has done
Doodlecast (£2.29) is a motivating app for annotating pictures which records a video of the drawing process. Take a photo of each other or something in the room or use one of the inbuilt templates. Ask the first child to draw a picture. As you replay the video of this, take turns to describe what that person did e.g. “then she drew some flowers next to the tree” “then she drew some glasses on my face.”
Planning and team work
Faces iMake (£2.29). A great team work task for primary age – ask children to make quirky faces with a range of basic and more complex vocabulary from lollipops and bananas to violins or chess pieces. Lots of opportunities for different levels of language from frequently used to less common words. Also opportunities for practising categorisation. Set the children a task such as “make a face from yellow and green fruit” or “make a face from toys”. There’s also a surprisingly catchy theme tune which you find yourself humming after a while…
Listening to others
Colouring in apps work well when supporting children to listen to instructions from others.
Splash of Colour (£0.79) has lots of colouring in templates included and for younger children Peppa’s Paintbox (free) has a theme or background pictures to insert. There is lots of scope for giving simple instructions that your child needs to listen to and follow e.g. “colour the box blue” or “put some flowers next to Peppa.”
It is possible to do these activities with children who are not very familiar with colour words by asking them to colour in particular parts of a picture but not specifying a colour.
Don’t forget to take turns giving each other instructions so your child gets practice in directing as well as listening!