Share Free Aps and Website Resources with Your Grandchildren

Laura Simmons-Martinez is the Technical Project Director at the Team of Advocates for Special Kids located in Anaheim, California.  An expert in assistive technology, she recommends the following entertaining, educational and cost free applications and websites to share with your grandchildren.  This information is from TASK’s monthly eNewsletter.  To request a free subscription, send an email to task@taskca.org and enter “The Newsletter Add” in the subject line.

Summer is here, and it is time for summer school, summer camp or just plain summer fun! In any case, I wanted to share some FUN free apps and websites with you to help keep your kiddos entertained, and a couple of useful tools that may be helpful for grandparents, parents and professionals, as well. 

Sensory Splodge 1: Fun for Infants and Kindergarten (by Sensory Apps, Ltd.)

Splodge and splatter paint effects, fish, butterflies and balloons on glowing backgrounds. Complete with funny sound effects. Splodge backgrounds include mirror, underwater, glowing sun and calming lava. This switch-accessible app is full of simple fun for infants, kindergarten, nursery and preschool kiddos as well as anyone learning cause and effect.

Funbrain, Jr. (by Pearson Education, Ltd.)

Funbrain, Jr. is a collection of unique and vibrant games for preschoolers and kindergarteners that helps jumpstart their journey of learning. Offering five separate fun and engaging games, Funbrain, Jr. introduces little learners to several important skills while they play. With the help of colorful and quirky Funbrain, Jr. characters, kids age two to six will love practicing skills in early literacy, math and problem solving. Funbrain, Jr. was created by the developers of the hugely popular Poptropica.com and Funbrain.com, providing quality content to millions of children.

Ginger Page: Writing Compass, Translator and Dictionary (by Ginger Software)

Get maximum coverage with Ginger Page, the ultimate writing app! Perfect your writing and enjoy exciting new features with Ginger Page! Ginger will easily upgrade your text to high quality English while you’re communicating through messaging, e-mails and social writing. This FREE app does all this:

  • World’s #1 proofreader: use this contextually aware proofreader to correct your punctuation, grammar and spelling.
  • Translations: translate your text between 40 different languages.
  • Advanced rephrasing: discover alternate ways to write your text.
  • Dictionary: contextual synonyms and definitions.
  • Share your text: easily export your text to any writing or social app.

Ginger Page is available for iDevices and also via Google Play (for Android devices).

Kindle App Adds WhisperSync for Voice on iOS and Android

Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS and Android (via Google Play) was recently updated to integrate audio books from Audible. The update, which is available for free, allows users to seamlessly switch between reading the Kindle text version of a book and listening to the Audible audio version of the book. The new feature even allows users to listen to the audio book while following along with the text version. Audio speaking rate can be increased or decreased according to user preference.

Helpful websites: 

Loop, Swoop, HELP! Top 10 Resources for Shoe-TyingSmart Apps for Special Needs has done it again with this informative article listing apps, websites and other great resources for shoe-tying.

SwiftTips SwiftTips are great-looking, useful, printable tip sheets. They have 41 tips that you print for home, office and school. They make these by hand for you to print, post somewhere visible, and reference again and again! Categories include clothing and accessories, automotive, academic, cleaning guides, kitchen charts and more! Great for learning life skills!

Funbrain, Jr.This website features fun games, stories, printables and more. Funbrain, Jr. (“A Fun Place to Learn”) helps preschoolers and kindergarteners jumpstart their journey of learning with engaging games, stories and printables. Kids love playing and learning with Funbrain, Jr., and you’ll love that they’re building math, early literacy and problem-solving skills while also developing important computer skills.

Turtle Diary

What is Turtle Diary? It’s a unique collection of interactive and fun educational games. Children learn important concepts that focus on specific skills that are challenging yet age-appropriate. Games and activities are created by well-qualified teachers and educators who believe that learning should be easy and fun. The concepts are reinforced with the help of fun and educational activities.

In case you or your kiddos need to work on keyboarding skills this summer, here are some free sites:Typing Games

This site has a lot of games to learn keyboarding.

Typing Club

The Typing Club site is a keyboarding instruction site that works on one progressive lesson at a time.

Learning Games for Kids

The Learning Games for Kids site has 21 different games to teach keyboarding!

Next up are a couple of must-see videos:

Breaking the Ice: A Delightful Introductory Video about Talking with Someone Who Uses Augmentative Communication

Life with a speech-generating device is challenging enough, but more so when people don’t know how to approach you. Using his DynaVox Maestro, DynaVox consumer representative Rick Hohn shares his wisdom on breaking the ice with people.

I Like the Way I Think: Temple Grandin on Working with Autism

A seven-minute interview with Temple Grandin, who talks about her book, The Autistic Brain, and how people with autism think differently. Very interesting and insightful!

The Helping Hand

This video features the story of a boy named Daniel who helped design his own prosthetic arm!