Monday, October 1, 2012

Great Free Apps for SLPs

I've had a few co-workers and followers ask for free/cheap apps that I use regularly.  As of today, the following are free:

This app allows you to choose any phoneme, location, and blends/etc. to do.  You can record the child's voice and play it back now or LATER!  It keeps the percentage for you over multiple sessions, keeps track of which words were correct/incorrect.  The only way to work on multiple sounds would be to "star" them when going through the flashcards or in "shuffle" mode.  The great thing about "star"ing words would be that you can "star" words that the student had difficulty with and go back to do them again.  I did notice a few minor spelling errors and words that have the particular letter but not the artic sound you are looking for (e.g. an /s/ in the /sh/ blend instead of alone).  Overall a great app...

The biggest controversy in speech sessions often occurs BEFORE we begin our activity.  The decision of "who goes first".  This little app is simple and useful.  Simply have each student place and hold a finger on the screen.  The Selector then spins around and lands on one finger.  That person is "chosen".  They LOVE this too and often ask to do it multiple times even after a person has been chosen to begin.

WDNB is a fun way to build vocabulary and classification skills. For each question, your student will see five pictures appear on the screen, one of which does not fit with the others. The child advances to the next question by dragging the picture that does not belong into the trash can in the lower left corner.  Before dragging it to the trash can, expand by asking them to identify WHY the picture does not belong and WHAT the other pictures have in common.

 “Story Wheel” is an educational game that improves cognitive abilities. Players record a story by spinning the wheel to get a picture, and then narrate a portion of the story. When done, you can listen to your story with animated pictures.  This is great for sequencing, memory, story-telling, and vocabulary in a sentence.  It is useful for all ages.  Sometimes we decide on a setting, characters, and genre/tone before beginning.  We also sometimes choose their favorite story of the session to e-mail to their teachers!

The Out Fit 7 Ltd. "Talking" Apps

I use these for reinforcement, articulation (they repeat everything you say), fluency, etc.

A simple to use timer in the form of a traffic light. Set whether you want it to run red-amber-green or green-amber-red, set the times in minutes and seconds and then off it goes! A bell chimes as each light changes.  Awesome for use with students with ASD and those who have difficulty focusing during sessions for a long period of time.

Toontastic: Play, Create, Learn! by Launchpad Toys
Toontastic is a storytelling and creative learning tool that enables kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons. Making cartoons with Toontastic is as easy as putting on a puppet show - simply press the record button, move your characters onscreen, and tell your story. Toontastic records your animation and voice as a cartoon video.  This is another great app for sentence-level vocabulary, story-telling, expansion, grammar, etc.  The kids LOVE creating different characters, devising stories, and animating.  Play with it a little yourself before using so you are familiar with how to best use it.
 ABA Animal Flash Cards: Contains images of over 100 animals. With early language development in mind, there is textual and audio description so your student can begin to develop and comprehend further language concepts.
 ABA Food Flash Cards: A collection of over 100 every day foods. Basic audio and textual descriptions of each image. included.  Use it to “describe” foods, categories, etc. 
ABA Receptive Identification by Noun: Helps children comprehend simple instructions and practice effective listening skills.  With over 300 images your student will be asked with mixed and varied phrases to identify common everyday objects and people. When your student responds appropriately they are highly reinforced with verbal praise and random visual praise.
  ABA Receptive Identification by Class: Includes over 350 concrete photos presented against a non-distracting white background.  A new expressive language Q&A component to this app has been added.  The student is asked to receptively identify an item by class then asked to (intraverbally) name additional items within that same class.
ABA Which Go Together?:  An  introduction to associations that helps students develop visual discrimination skills as well as basic understanding of different objects and events.  They added a simple Q&A to the app for children to practice expressing “why” things go together.
 ABA What Rhymes?:  Rhyming is a basic component of phonics and very important pre-reading skill that prepares young children for spelling and decoding words.  Teaching rhyming words sets a solid base for reading comprehension later on.

Bluster! by McGraw-Hill
This is a great word matching game that develops vocabulary and word understanding for school-aged children.  In single-player mode you will learn and practice important word skills. Match rhyming words, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms, homophones, adjectives, and more. You can also choose to collaborate with a friend in team mode. The multi-touch iPad screen allows both players to play simultaneously, so you can work together to weather the vocabulary storm.

Our favorite is versus mode where they can play head-to-head. Disrupt your opponent with weather attacks like tornadoes and blizzards!  Bluster includes over 800 vocabulary words. Choose a skill to practice and then students try to make matches of three. Ten matches wins a round.
 Other freebies that I have but did not (yet) elaborate on are: MadLibs, ArtikPix, Quick Artic, BrainPOP/BrainPOP Jr., TxTools, SocialSkillsBuilder, ABA Emotions, SparkleFish, StoryLines for School, WH Questions, Hungry Hippos, Snakes and Ladders, 4 in a Row, Draw Animals/Monsters/Santa (When it goes free), Pinterest (to access boards with photos set up by other SLPs).

Please leave a comment about any others that are free that you use regularly and what for!  I'd love to get a more comprehensive list for our SLPeeps!


  1. Scribble Press! One of my absolute favorites!

    1. How do you use Scribble Press Carrie?

  2. These are great, Danielle! I have one to add: Montessori Crosswords. It's absolutely amazing for phonics and letter-sounds. Thanks for starting this list-I've always looking for good apps!

  3. These are great. I just got an Ipad at work and am looking for some tried and true apps. Question - I wonder if you (or someone out there) might know of a white noise generator app that allows for selected levels of volume (e.g., level 1 quietest- level 10 loudest). I went to a conference a while back and got a great noise desensitization protocol that I can use with the Ipad for a student I have but I can't find the app name in my notes and the presenter has not responded to my emails. Anyone know the app???? Thanks!

  4. Just found your blog and love the info. I use Story Kit quite a bit. Phonics Genius is great for older kids who can read....lots of target words. I also find a lot of apps @ thet always have a good free app of the day. Today they had one for tracking data. I am going to download

  5. I just got an ipad for Christmas and downloaded all of your suggestions. Thanks for helping me get started!