Have you recently purchased the Bluebee Pal 4.0? To learn more about its interactive tools features, click here. Now that you have your Bluebee Pal, it’s time to download your free companion app, The Bluebee Pals App includes key features that help building speech, language and learning with your child. To learn about what speech and language goals you can target with your Bluebee Pal app, click here.
Features of the App
Introduction Video: This video explains how to connect your Bluebee Pal to your device and get started!
5 Life Skills Rooms: The Bluebee five rooms teach activities of daily living including bathing, brushing hair, brushing teeth, bedtime routines, various kitchen items including meals. Each room is a scene based display with various hot spots to help your child build vocabulary, improve visual awareness and become more familiar with specific objects that belong in a room. These rooms are common to all children regardless of your cultural background. What is your child’s favorite room? For those parents who struggle with specific life skills, this can be an opportunity to explore a routine in a fun and interactive way (e.g. brushing teeth, brushing hair, etc.) If Bluebee can brush his teeth, then you can do it too!
10 mini games! Included in this free app are 10 educational games to inspire kids to learn while they are playing. Skills practiced include early academics, letters, colors, puzzles. These games are brief, simple and interactive games that children of all ages and abilities can enjoy.
Link to Parent/Educator Resources: Need more information? Within the app, you will find a direct link app reviews based on specific interests such as discipline or specific area that you would like to focus on for your child. For example, if you would like to work on specific fine motor skills, check out Jo Booth’s app reviews. If you are looking for iMum’s app reviews, click right within the app for suggestions and recommendations from this reputable app reviewer.
Bluebee Mini Library: These are curated apps that come highly recommended by our app reviewers for use with Bluebee Pals. This links to the many apps that I have reviewed as well as my colleagues. You will never run out of ideas on what to do with your Bluebee Pal!
Record your own voice! With this feature, you or your child can record your own voice and hear Bluebee play it back. This is a fun feature that can encourage a child to vocalize and/or verbalize and get feedback on what their voice sounds like. If your child is minimally verbal, get him or her to record a simple sound such as a vocalization or a sound they can create.
What I like most about this app:
Lots of choices for a child! A child can pick their own Bluebee, their favorite colors balloon, a room of their choice or a game. The choices are endless.
This can be a great learning opportunity with errorless play and a lot of opportunity for language stimulation.
A wonderful way to grow vocabulary and word association when accessing different objects within a room.
The app is not overstimulating and is organized well.
The app is a perfect companion for the Bluebee Pal Pro!
Want to learn more about the Bluebee Pal app? Check out this video here:
I wanted to write an article to talk about the updated features of the award winning and interactive Bluebee Pal 4.0. I have been writing for Bluebee Pals for many years and have seen a significant transformation in how Bluebee has changed and interacted with the current technology. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Bluebee Pals, let’s review! NEW 4.0 Bluebee Pal Pro is an interactive plush learning tool with FREE companion (life skills /educational app) that connects to all iOS and Android Devices and pairs with all apps with a narrative. The new Bluebee 4.0 allows the “mouth and head” to move while reading stories, teaching through educational games, learning a language and singing songs. To watch a video of how this interactive tool works and can be used in the classroom, click here.
Head Movement, Why is this so important?
Why is head and mouth movement feature so important? When we communicate, we use all different ways to communicate. In one study, it was determined that 93% of our communication is nonverbal. Even if this number isn’t exact, it’s pretty close because most of our communication is nonverbal. What is nonverbal communication? Nonverbal communication is any communication we use with our body that is not speech. This includes facial expressions, gestures, head movement, eye contact, etc. With this new feature of head and mouth movement, a child can be more engaged with Bluebee Pal. Head movement is a type of nonverbal communication and important in the way we interact with each other. Check out this article that explains it more. To learn more about nonverbal communication and why it’s so important click here.
What are some other features that you can use with your child and the new Bluebee 4.0?
Use your Bluebee Pals Pro as a wireless speaker phone. Talk to your child or friends through the Bluebee Pals Pro by placing a call to a cell phone paired with them. When there is an incoming call, your ringtone will sound from Bluebee Pals Pro (this function may vary in different brands of cell phones).
If you are planning on celebrating your holiday with Bluebee Pal, check out these holiday app recommendations! With the recommendations are tips for facilitating language, learning and fun!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a perfect app to pair with your Bluebee Pal. Features include: tap and drag to find playful surprises throughout the book, find hidden stars on every page to reveal fun activities, read along with highlighting narration, read it yourself, or enjoy auto play, explore new vocabulary by tapping words and pictures and track minutes spent reading, pages read, and more in the Parents section. There are also tons of activities as well! The app includes seven different mini games and games that are embedded in the story.
Your child will have endless fun with Toca Hair Salon: Christmas Gift. This app also pairs well with Bluebee Pal providing all of the sound effects and sharing in on the fun of giving Santa a makeover. This app is free, creative and can help your child explore all different actions, colors and different hair styles. After decorating Santa, let your child explore how to make their Bluebee festive for the holidays! Maybe a bow or a festive ribbon can do the trick!
Check out this free and inventive app titled, My Hanukkah. Include in the app is a story, activities and coloring pages. Bluebee Pal can help make this app even more interactive by reading this story to your child. The colorful pages and soothing voice combined with the interactive features of the app will keep your child engaged and learning. The activities included in the app are Play the Piano, Shapes, Spot The Difference and Brachot. The app also comes in 5 different languages! My Hanukkah also includes a game to create your own song for Hanukkah so that Bluebee can help sing along.
Do you need more recommendations of holiday apps? Check out my post from last year with Holiday Apps for Bluebee Pal. To check out iMum’s Top Christmas apps, clickhere.Check out my other app reviews for Bluebee Pal here.
Bluebee Pal Pro is a “plush learning tool to learn, communicate, and connect to technology” that comes in a variety of animals and colors. Once connected via Bluetooth to a tablet; Bluebee can add extra engagement to your storytelling experience. Instead of the voice coming directly from the iPad, allow Bluebee Pal Pro to tell your child’s story. It also can be an excellent strategy to use in a group therapy or classroom with one Bluebee Pal or more. The Bluebee Pal Pro can be passed around, so each student gets the opportunity to use this helpful tool. This assistive technology tool is excellent for turn taking, increased engagement, language and learning goals.
To read an article written by Punam about Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) with Bluebee Pals PRO Learning Tool with Companion Life Skills/Educational App click here.
Building literacy with Bluebee Pal can be fun and engaging for children with Bluebee Pal. Whether it’s just beginning to expose your student to letters and sounds or building more complex phonological awareness, Bluebee can help build these skills. Some apps to check out are Letter Schooland Endless ABC.
Learning daily living skills is an important part of becoming more independent. Part of what making following steps for daily living more complex and challenging with so many steps involved. Check out how to use Bluebee Pal with Choice works here.
Learning to communicate! Communication devices are a type of assistive technology for both children and adults with complex communication needs. I have written many apps reviews on how to incorporate Bluebee Pal. To check out these reviews, click hereand check out the AAC apps listed on the left sidebar. To learn core words with Bluebee Pal, click here
Make your AAC assessment interactive with AAC Genie and Bluebee Pal! Check out this articlehere on how to best use both the app and Bluebee Pal.
Ten Language and Learning Goals when using the Bluebee App
Making choices: Making choices with the Bluebee Pal App is easy with this app. When the app begins, a child gets the option of choosing a Bluebee Pal (choice between the Sammy the Bear, Leo the Lion, Lily the Lamb, Rylie the Zebra, Parker the Monkey, and Hudson, the Puppy). After the child chooses their favorite Bluebee Pal, they get to choose their favorite color balloon, category and then the room they want to explore.
Categories: Explore categories with this app including animals, furniture, toys, outdoor activities, games, sports, art, music and much more! With this app, there are so many ways to incorporate the learning of categories as a child is playing with the app. To carryover, this goal, take screenshots of the app and with a visual of various categories ask your child to put the objects in the right category. Another carryover activity is taking a screenshot of the house and then asking your child to place the right object in the correct room with some tangible symbols or objects. I love how the app incorporates errorless learning with specific tasks that require appropriate choices. This helps build language and learning in a fun and stress-free play environment.
Following directives: Throughout this app, the child is required to follow 1-2 step directives such as feeding Bluebee Pal, putting him sleep, brushing his teeth and much more! If your child needs more help with following directives, give prompts as necessary.
Literacy goals: This app is ideal for emerging readers! The mini-games help children recognize sounds and letters in a fun and interactive manner. With one mini-game, a child is required to put the right letter where it belongs on a qwerty keyboard.
Daily Living Skills: This app incorporates a variety of daily living skills including hygiene, cooking and cleaning up. During these opportunities, a child will be able to engage in these daily living tasks that they can relate to on a daily basis. This can be carried over into the home environment by going through the hygiene routine with Bluebee Pal and then doing the same with your child.
Actions: Learning actions is such an important skill and vital for creating grammatically correct sentences that are communicated well. This is a goal that should be facilitated and modeled as the child is playing the app. For example, the parent/educator can model, “Bluebee is ______his teeth” and have the child fill in the action. Bluebee engages in so many actions with this app so goals can be targeted in many ways and can also help build vocabulary.
Expand vocabulary: A child can expand their vocabulary by interacting with the various objects within each room. During each room activity, there is an opportunity for a child to explore different vocabulary. For example, when the child touches the water bottle, it says “water bottle”. This continues for a variety of objects in each room. Use this vocabulary during conversation to help your child store these new words in long-term memory. Also, focus on descriptive words as well!
Sequencing: When playing with this app, help your child recall various tasks in order. For example, when Bluebee Pal is in the bathroom, he first gets in the shower and gets wet, then gets washed with soap, and then finally needs to get dried with the towel or the hairdryer. When the sequence is done, review the steps in taking a shower and ask specific questions. For example, “What did Parker the Monkey do first?”
Negation: Learning and understanding negation is so important for various communicative functions such as requesting, commenting and expressing an opinion. In this app, a child has to follow directives with negations embedded it the sentences such as “Don’t forget to turn off the light.”
Inferencing Skills and Improving Visual Awareness: Explore various puzzles, a maze and mini-games and target inferencing and critical thinking skills. Throughout the story, a child has to figure out specific situations within a context. For example, after taking a shower, Bluebee Pal is wet. What does he need to do? Does your child or student have difficulty with visual perception? In one mini-game, a child is required to find all of the Bluebee Pals within the scene which can help build those visual awareness skills.
Rebecca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP,is a certified speech-language pathologist, author, instructor, and parent of two children. She has been working in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for more than 15 years in a variety of settings and currently works with both children and adults with autism and other varying disabilities who have complex communication needs.
I have been using this app, Choice Works for many years with both children and adults with Autism as well as other disabilities. The Choiceworks app is functional and educational learning tool for helping children complete daily routines (morning, day, & night), understand & control their feelings and improve their waiting skills (taking turns and not interrupting). This app is specifically designed to help with transitions, optimize visual learning, reduce behaviors and optimize easy transitions. The app is user friendly for parents and educators and very flexible in the way that it can be customized for each child. Here are some key features below as listed on the app store:
■ Four boards: Schedule, Waiting, Feelings and Feelings Scale ■ Image Library preloaded with over 180 images and audio ■ Add your own images and record your own audio for limitless customizability ■ Attach video to any board image ■ Easily create profiles to personalize and manage multiple users ■ Save an unlimited number of boards for multiple children or different routines ■ Speaks boards out loud with pre-recorded audio ■ Time saving essentials like search and auto-save ■ Share boards by Email or iTunes File Sharing with other Choiceworks app users ■ Ability to print boards or save as PDF
Get Bluebee to be your choice works assistant!
Connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth
Click into the desired page such as schedules, waiting, feelings or feelings scale (e.g. School schedule)
Each time you click on the icon of a pre-existing page you get the verbal feedback plus a short video that’s already installed! When making a customized page, add your own verbal output for Bluebee Pal.
When you drag the icon over to the all done category, Bluebee will tell you “all done”
This is just the beginning with the app! Explore with your child and your Choice Works assistant, Bluebee Pal!
Are you looking for a visual calendar to accompany Choice Works? Check out the Choice Works calendar!
The Choiceworks Calendar is a picture-based learning tool that helps children learn what is happening day-to-day throughout each month. This app provides a visual calendar for children that have difficulty with time concepts and need those crucial visual supports. With this customized app, you can easily add or delete events as needed and take advantage of the features listed below. This app is extremely functional and can save a tons of time for a parent or educator. Adding images and events is done in a snap with this user friendly app! Print out the calendar and have it handy at home or in the classroom. See these features below as listed on the app store:
Key Features ■ Easily create a visual calendar of upcoming events in a few minutes (examples: holidays, when visitors are coming, doctor appointments, vacations, sleepovers, parent returning from a trip or military duty) ■ Image Library preloaded with over 275 images and audio ■ Add your own images using your photo library, camera or use the preloaded image library to record your own audio and edit captions for limitless customizability ■ Create multiple personalized calendars for use with multiple children or in a classroom setting ■ Count Days Until: animated counter for the number of days until an upcoming event (example: How many days until my birthday?) ■ Speaks the daily schedule ■ Built-in visual timer ■ Automatically adds holidays ■ Easily add reoccurring events ■ Notifications and alarms with visual and audio alerts ■ Search and auto-save features ■ Share boards by Email or iTunes File Sharing with other Choiceworks Calendar app users ■ Ability to print month, week or day for offline viewing or save as PDF
Get Bluebee connected to the fun calendar activity!
Connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth.
Add your events and let Bluebee Pal will tell your child the name of the event.
Do you want your daily schedule read to you? Bluebee Pal can do that!
Do you have an exciting event coming up? Bluebee can count down the days for you!