Learning Telling Time with Bluebee Pal
Todo Telling Time is an educational and interactive app for children K-2 that helps facilitate learning of time concepts. This app is also very functional because it relates to the everyday concepts and also helps target various aspect of time. With this app, children will learn to tell time to the hour and minute, calendar concepts, digital time, and the parts of a daily schedule. With this app, your child can also practice placing numbers around a clock face, counting by 5s, and learning estimation.
Todo Telling Time contains six multi-level mini-games. The games include learning days and weeks in order, putting numbers in order and learning number orientation on a Ferris wheel, learning about the timing and order of a schedule, learning time with a train game, building short-term memory and sequencing skills in a memory game and a quiz that assesses your child’s knowledge of time.
- Connect your Bluebee Pal. Choose on the six interactive games below. With Day the Weeks game, your child or student will be placing the days, months and numbers in order on a calendar. Let Bluebee reinforce the sequencing by saying the name of the day, month or number on the calendar. With the calendar game, your child or student can learn about time and schedules. It’s 8:00 am, time for school! After your child places the hand on the right location, Bluebee Pal will tell you what time it is! WIth the train game, your child or student or will learn digital time and Bluebee Pal will reinforce the time by repeating the correct time. With the memory game, the challenge is the find the number that was called out and shown to you briefly. Forget the number? Activate the rewind icon and Bluebee Pal will say it again!
- With the time quiz at the end of the game, your child or student will be challenged with questions asked by Bluebee Pal such as “It’s 7:00 pm. How much time until 12:00 am?”. The time quiz gives you three choices that you can choose from.
- Continue having fun with Bluebee Pal and learning time by navigating through different levels and finding various ways to challenge your student or child. This app is so much fun you might run out of time!
Bluebees Pals Are A Dynamic Learning Tool in Education
Bluebee can read storybooks to a child and foster a love of reading • Listening to stories helps facilitate memory and sequencing skills
Bluebee can lead a sing-a-long through a playlist of music • Through such apps such as Spotify or downloaded music, Bluebee can teach your child the joy of music.
Bluebee can play back voice recordings of a favorite book, story, or song spoken in the dialect understood by a child, or produced by a child to enhance reading and speech
Bluebee Facilitating Language Acquisition In Speech Therapy
• Blubee can be paired with many therapeutic apps and provide the instruction
• Bluebee can be the teacher by asking questions, giving directions and participating in conversations via text-to-speech apps
• Students can control Bluebee via text-to-speech apps and work on syntax, semantics and pragmatics
• The media used on Bluebee can be varied and tailored to a specific child’s needs. For example, to increase a child’s attention and the ability to listen, the Bluebee can sing songs that teach the nuances of language including rhythm and intonation. The apps can then be scaffolded to improve skills in a manner best suited for a child to learn
• Bluebee can be used along with an AAC device to give children a voice. It’s great for AAC users to see that Bluebee is an AAC user just like them!
• Bluebees can be used to foster communication by pairing them with a phone
Bluebee facilitating positive behavior management and ABA therapy
• Bluebees can be used to foster communication by pairing them with a phone
• Bluebee is a highly motivating reward
• Bluebee increases tolerance and compliance during extended discrete trial training
• Bluebee can be used as a model for behavior that is being targeted for increase
• Seeing Bluebee gain reinforcement for completing tasks can be a great motivator!
Bluebee a wonderful tool for Occupational and Physical Therapies
• Earn Bluebee play and interaction for completing OT/PT tasks
• Compete with Bluebee when engaging in OT/PT sessions
• Clients can “teach” Bluebee how to do fine motor and gross motor skills Bluebees can benefit children whether they are turned on and connected to a Bluetooth device or not.
• By hugging Bluebee, children receive deep pressure and proprioceptive input to help them calm and focus
• Bluebees help reinforce and maintain self-regulation
• Bluebees calm through social stories created with pictures of a child and the voice of a parent or sibling to decrease anxiety
One of the most endearing traits of early childhood is that magical line between reality and make-believe. It is the space where anything can happen, and THAT is how beloved stuffed pets or dollies come to life. Attachment to stuffed animals can begin as early as before a child’s first year and can in fact with some people, last a lifetime. To a child, stuffed animals or dolls represent living beings that have real personalities, thoughts, and feelings. Observing a child’s interaction with their pets can give you key insights into a child’s world. It is much easier to express worries or concerns with a stuffie, as they are nonjudgmental and will always listen.
Stuffed animals play a major role in children practicing nurturing and communicating with others. They allow for facilitating the use of new vocabulary, practicing social skills, and rehearsing routines. In addition, they are also a source of learning to self-calm and regulate by providing deep pressure and warmth when hugged or used as a transitional object. Transitional objects are part of a parent’s toolbox in helping children build confidence to try new things or to go from place to another. Don’t be alarmed if your child clutches tightly to their loved stuffies. The tight grasp is actually a way to provide body input called proprioception that helps ground or seats an individual. Try it yourself by clenching your fists – feel the stability?
Stuffed Animals- The Most From Your Bluebee Pal
The wonderful thing about Bluebee Pals is that they are a ready and able playmate, confidante, and teacher hidden inside a stuffed animal. They can be paired with any device that is Bluetooth enabled or used as a beloved toy unplugged. Try using your Bluebee to:
- Rehearse upcoming events by acting out what is going to happen and have Bluebee respond with any anticipated concerns. Children can also rehearse independently by playing an app with your Bluebee Pal as a guide – which helps build independence and confidence.
- Master language skills, manners, and turn taking. Simply listening to a story read by Bluebee will help increase vocabulary. We’ve all gone to “tea parties” and I’ve heard that Bluebee loves a bit of cake with his tea. During your party, practice sharing portions. There are many food playsets that have a portion component. Games with definite turns are also a way to teach waiting – although your child can take Bluebee’s turn too!
- Using the phone component with Bluebee can add to imaginative and pretend play by having Bluebee communicating directly with your child.
- Have your child “teach” their Bluebee Pal how to accomplish something they may struggle with such as getting a haircut or brushing their teeth. We once used a parade of stuffies in habituating a family to getting haircuts by setting up a shop. “Haircuts 5 cents!” Of course, no real scissors were involved (play dough scissors were used), but this allows the child to be in control and regulate the sequence of events.
- Allow your child’s Bluebee Pal to express the often confusing and conflicting emotions of a child. Simply ask “Why Bluebee looks sad today, what do you think is going on?” This takes the pressure off the child and gives you a window by having the child respond through their Bluebee Pal.
- Dressing Blubee up in clothing helps to build fine motor skills. Baby clothing that can be purchased at a thrift store in sizes 6-9 months’ work well. All sorts of hand strengthening and manipulative skills can be enhanced by outfitting Bluebee……..https://www.bluebeepals.com/general-education/#
Book Creator by Red Jumper Ltd. is a must have app for all parents, teachers, and clinicians. This versatile app can promote and model language and the sequence of events through storytelling. In addition, it can also be used to create keepsakes of special events as told through the eyes of a child. In this post, we will go over salient points in creating a story to ease transitions. In part one, we talked about what may help in creating a story, so let’s get started! Here is an easy tutorial on how we created Hudson and Lily Visit Santa.
On opening Book Creator, we selected NEW BOOK in the upper left-hand corner. There are 6 different templates to choose from when sizing your book. Portrait, Square, Landscape, or 3 different “comic book” style” templates where a variety of graphics can be laid out within a template. Name your book and assign it an author and you are ready to go!
The fun starts now with personalization. And to do so, we will be using the tabs on the upper right-hand side. The “cover” will be the first page. A “+” sign on any of subsequent pages allows the author to:
-Add a picture from the camera roll or to take a video or photo right on the spot. This is invaluable for making a memory book or when writing an experiential narrative of a special event. Photos of events to come can also be used to rehearse an event such as having testing or lab work done. Many labs or doctor’s offices will allow parents to take pictures prior to an appointment to help ease the transition. This sets a seed of what is to be expected when going.
Original artwork can also be drawn right into the story using the pen “setting”. Choose from a variety of marker widths and colors.
Adding text. There are tons of options for fonts. Open Dyslexic is included in Book Creator, and our story is written in this font. The font was created to increase readability by weighting the bottom of the letters. This helps with keeping letters aligned and oriented by providing a visual sensory anchor. The font is continually evolving from the feedback of users. Read more at https://opendyslexic.org/. (The “i” with a circle tab allows for customization of either the text or page.)
– Audio can be as simple as reading the text or recording a narration together. Music can be added as well – either live recordings or from songs saved to your iPad. It would be lovely to make a goodnight book with favorite lullabies.
Once you have your story done, it can be exported as a PDF, video, or even an epub file to be read in iBooks! The stories can be saved and shared for repeat views or even added to in the future as your skills and confidence grow. There are many more in-depth tutorials on Book Creator’s website and YouTube. Red Jumper LTD makes it very easy to jump in and start making fantastic stories right away. The most important part is to start. All the features do not need to be tapped into immediately. Book Creator is an essential app for not only therapeutic use but can also be used to detail cherished family memories. This app is a bargain as its ease of use is exemplary. It can be used on the fly when out and about or used as an app for a family project.
Celebrate Christmas with this classic audiobook app, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss’s books are timeless and this app tells the story of the Grinch with animated voices and interactive features. It comes with a voice-over narration, so the child can either read it themselves, listen to the book with the voice that comes with the app or records the voice. The app comes with the following features:
Tap and drag to find playful surprises throughout the book, find hidden stars on every page to reveal fun activities, explore new vocabulary by tapping words and pictures and track the time spent reading that is available in the Parents section. This last feature is ideal for reading logs which teachers require you to time how long your child needs to read for each night. The activities included in the app are mini-games such as Memory Match, puzzles, word searches, and a sequencing game. There are also 28 hidden games in the app itself.
Let Bluebee Pal join in on the fun with the Grinch!
- Connect your Bluebee Pal to your device and get ready to hear a classic book with a special reader.
- Will Bluebee read the voice-over narration or will your child record their own voice? Bluebee can do both!
- Bluebee can help meet language goals by helping your child learn new vocabulary by saying the words when the child taps on certain pictures and words throughout the story. With the feature of the all of the words being highlighted in the story, this can help a child learn to recognize more words and work on literacy goals. Listening to the story being read can also help with auditory comprehension. When the book is complete, ask your child “wh” questions and describe the different characters in the story.
Use Bluebee in a Story to ease transitions! Often, holidays are times when kids experience an overwhelming amount of sensory input. They are taken out of their usual routines and melt-downs can easily be triggered. Going to see Santa is a source of distress for many kids. There are crowds and lines, uncomfortable clothing, and a lot of “tall” people running about and speaking loudly. In addition, music and bright lights are aplenty.
Letting kids know what is going to happen and providing options for responses as to what to do may be a way to prevent a child who is more sensitive to overload. We used Bluebee to make a story about going to see Santa and what that sequence entails. (This is not a Social Story as defined by Carol Gray, a teacher and the developer of Social Stories. Social Stories are very specific and are important tools for all children who struggle with exchanging information. I would highly encourage anyone who is interested to visit her website or check out any of her books to learn more.)
Tips for making stories:
- The stories can be used to prepare a child for what’s to come or a memory book of a special holiday or event – that can then be read or reread the following year to open up a discussion of what is going to happen.
- Use actual pictures of where you are going or what you will be doing – and show specific detail. Cartoons or icons can be confusing. Real pictures will give kids a sensory anchor of what to look for.
- Keep sentences short and to the point. Young children need to learn about what is important. Too many details may be confusing for a young child.
- Tell kids what is to be expected and what they will be doing. Use of the words NO, NOT, DON’T do not tell you what to do and are vague in nature.
- Keep the tone positive and truthful.
- Some storybook creation apps contain the ability to add a soundtrack or music. You can record reading the story for your child to listen to again and again or include happy upbeat songs.
- Include your child in the story and in the making of a story if able. Kids love to use the camera and see themselves in stories. Having a “mission” during an event may be enough of a distraction to keep them organized.
- Share with family – especially the Grandparents!
Here is a story about Hudson and Lily going to the mall to visit Santa. We used Book Creator by red jumper ltd. to make the story and the Essential Apple app, iMovie for display or sharing purposes. iMovie is free for iPad users, and watching any of the tutorials is invaluable. There were many other shots we could have taken for the story but wanted to show you the general idea of what a book might include. Your child could be in the shots and star in the book instead of Bluebee. We will go over the steps in making a storybook in the next post.
Playing with Riley the Zebra is a fun experience for kids of all ages. We love using Riley when we are reading books like Puppup at the Zoo and seeing him act out all of the animals. Bluebee Pals will work with any smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer that has Bluetooth. Bluebee Pals can be used with an AAC app to provide communication, paired with a storybook app to read with your child or even paired with any app that has narration to speak the various parts. Bluebee Pals have an interactive mouth communicates while connected to all Music, Storybook, Educational and AAC Apps. Winner of Mom’s Choice Awards, National Parenting Publications, Parents Choice, Creative Child Award, Academic Choice ( Brain Toy) and Tillywig( Brain Child)
Check out our fun Christmas video!
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After a play date with Bluebee Pal Hudson, where he showed her his wish list for the holidays, Bluebee Lily thought it would be a great idea to make a list herself. She decided too, to ask mommy, daddy, and her sisters what was on their lists. “This will be the best holiday ever,” she thought. She liked the idea of books, learning games, and toys that she could play with her sisters. The season is all about sharing and enjoying the warmth and love of your family, she thought.
Here is Lily’s List:
Sometimes, it is just hard to get started or stop a fun activity and go onto something else less fun. Lily has seen this with her younger sisters and had heard about an app where there were songs to help transition to a new activity. Everyday Grooves is that app. It was developed by the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, so you know it has been thoroughly researched. Mommy can play it on her phone, and she and her Bluebee Pal can sing the songs to make transitions easier for her twin sisters. You see when Bluebee sings a song, everybody listens.This app works on both iPad and iPhones that use an older iOS (under 11. On the iPad it is an enlarged screen from the iPhone – but you don’t need to watch anything in particular – it is about the song being used as a call to action). It’s perfect for Lily’s big sister to use on her older iPhone with Lily’s Bluebee.
A sweet little pre-math app developed by the brother/sister team, Will and Cara Jessop, for Enabling Play, is The Amazing Adventures of Millie Moreorless. It was specifically designed for children with learning difficulties. The pacing and graphics are key to what makes this app successful. New research is showing that children who are able to recognize and discriminate the concept of “More” from a grouping of objects early on have greater success with math as they are able to better sequence, classify, and visually place objects that they relate when navigating and interacting.
Lily’s a busy girl. She likes to discover and find out about new things. She also like to apply what she’s learned to new situations, and so it can be hard to settle down at nap or nighttime. She loves that her Daddy can record stories on the iPad so that her Bluebee Pal can read a story in Daddy’s voice if he’s away. It makes her feel calm. The one she loves the best is Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site produced by OceanHouse Media. It’s all about busy builder trucks that work hard building during the day, and need to settle down to rest. Lily loves hearing the names of all the trucks and what they do.
Lily wants to be an architect when she grows up. She loves to build and design things. She knows that careful measurements go a long way when building. She saw the app Measure Up by PBS Kids. It had all her favorites from her T.V. shows and videos on YouTube. There was Peg and Cat, Dino Train and Sid! In the app kids can explore 3 different worlds and begin to compare and contrast length, width, height, weight, and capacity. These are foundational skills not only for math and science in later years but also in navigating one’s world.
Lily’s secret wish is for a Bluebee Pal for all her sisters. There is so much for them to do – sing songs together, talk to Grammie, play games, or simply read a book. Lily also likes to play pretend with her Bluebee – her sisters and their Bluebees could all join in for a tea party, build amazing buildings with blocks, and explore outside together. It would be double the fun if all of us and our Bluebees could play together. Now she thought she heard something about a monkey named Parker…
A few months ago, The Bluebee Pal Project donated Bluebee Pals to Bierman Autism Centers in Indiana and their Boston Locations.Therapists graciously agreed to monitor the role of Bluebee Pals in their therapy daily sessions with children with Autism. We have provided photos and feedback to share with other therapists and families on the positive effects of the utilization of Bluebee Pals as a learning tool for children with Autism.
Bierman work with children with autism spectrum disorders up to the age of 13. They specialize in providing early intervention, personalized and intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs. Their early intensive intervention programs (EIBI) are designed to help children learn skills across many different developmental domains in order to be happy and successful in any environment, whether that be in the home, community or the classroom. Whether a child was just recently diagnosed or has been in a traditional school setting but unable to make adequate progress, they deeply believe every child is capable of learning with the right programming in place.
1. How often is Bluebee Pal used daily/weekly?
Used daily, 2-3x times a day….What activities is Bluebee Pal used with?
Stories via youtube, singing along to songs via youtube (individual child), stories with friends (youtube), dance party with friends ( group ) Bluebee is the DJ), practicing taking turns with BlueBee, practicing taking turns which story bluebee reads (group), individual student uses Bluebee during independent time (usually relies on adults to play)
2. Who is using the Bluebee Pal (teachers, therapists, teacher assistants, students, administrators etc.)?
behavior technicians, behavior analyst, trainers, administrators, students
3. What goals/objectives are you targeting when using Bluebee Pals (educational, speech/language, occupational, behavioral, physical)?
Group attention (educational), behavioral (for motivation), gross motor (dance), turn taking (social), asking in full sentences for stories/activities (speech)
4. How does Bluebee Pal effect the activity and student progress/engagement?
For students who are motivated by Bluebee, students will engage in activities such as reading, stories, listening for much longer with bluebee. Students who often want to play alone will be prone to listen to a story with a peer if the story is read by a Bluebee.
5. Are you experiencing any technical or implementation difficulties when using Bluebee Pals? Please explain.
One student became frustrated when Bluebee had enough battery to say low battery but not enough battery to properly function, but no real technical issues. Very easy to use.
6. What are your most favorite and least favorite things about using Bluebee Pals?
The moving mouth seems to be the biggest hit. It helps the child engage and focus as you would in real conversation. No least favorite so far!
7. Anything else to share?
The Bluebees have been a great teaching item. The Bluebees seem to be a great item to help kids who are usually hesitant be more open to new activities.
Crystal Academy of Coral Gabes, Florida received an early Christmas Present. Bluebee Pals were donated to Crystal Academy. They specialize in early intervention and education for children overcoming the challenges of Autism Spectrum and related disabilities.
They believe every child’s life begins with the ability and desire to communicate with the people they love. Children on the autism spectrum suffer difficulties in all areas of communication, socialization, and learning. Early intensive intervention has proven critical to these children realizing their highest potential.
CRYSTAL ACADEMY’s premium therapy center utilizes a variety of evidence-based and ancillary services combined in a holistic program personalized to each child. Services are focused on the child’s specific needs and coordinated to optimize measurable results.
In the Primary School at Crystal Academy, they develop and nurture the children’s unique abilities, while meeting their needs and challenges through a curriculum designed specifically for each child including academics, evidence-based therapy services, and socialization with peers.
Central to their approach is the belief that the brain can be re-wired and impaired cognitive function enhanced or even fully replaced. New neural pathways can be developed through intensive intervention during the early years. They are proud to provide a variety of services that include intensive Behavior Therapy based on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and Speech and Language Pathology, also incorporating Occupational and Physical Therapy, Sensory Integration, Neuro-Developmental techniques, life skills, Music and Art as Therapy, Gymnastics, and socialization and play activities.
Crystal Academy programs were developed to provide a behavior milestones and language acquisition intervention that promotes appropriate cognitive and social development, communication and language, independence and life skills.
A comprehensive evaluation of a child’s skills and developmental challenges is conducted by their staff in order to design a child’s personalized program. A program designed to provide behavior milestones and language acquisition and promote appropriate cognitive and social development, communication and language, independence and life skills. A detailed assessment of each child’s progress is provided to parents every six months. An objective measurement of skills is performed every day.
Last, but certainly not least, at Crystal Academy, they believe learning should be a fun and rich relationship between the child and the staff.
CRYSTAL ACADEMY Coral Gables.
107 Antilla Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
After a play date with Hudson, where he showed her his wish list for the holidays, Lily thought it would be a great idea to make a list herself. She decided too, to ask mommy, daddy, and her sisters what was on their lists. “This will be the best holiday ever,” she thought. She liked the idea of books, learning games, and toys that she could play with her sisters. The season is all about sharing and enjoying the warmth and love of your family, she thought. Here is Lily’s List:
Sometimes, it is just hard to get started or stop a fun activity and go onto something else less fun. Lily has seen this with her younger sisters and had heard about an app where there were songs to help transition to a new activity. Everyday Grooves is that app. It was developed by the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, so you know it has been thoroughly researched. Mommy can play it on her phone, and she and her Bluebee Pal can sing the songs to make transitions easier for her twin sisters. You see when Bluebee sings a song, everybody listens.This app works on both iPad and iPhones that use an older iOS (under 11. On the iPad, it is an enlarged screen from the iPhone – but you don’t need to watch anything in particular – it is about the song being used as a call to action). It’s perfect for Lily’s big sister to use on her older iPhone with Lily’s Bluebee.
A sweet little pre-math app developed by the brother/sister team, Will and Cara Jessop, for Enabling Play, is The Amazing Adventures of Millie Moreorless. It was specifically designed for children with learning difficulties. The pacing and graphics are key to what makes this app successful. New research is showing that children who are able to recognize and discriminate the concept of “More” from a grouping of objects early on have greater success with math as they are able to better sequence, classify, and visually place objects that they relate when navigating and interacting.
Lily’s a busy girl. She likes to discover and find out about new things. She also would like to apply what she’s learned to new situations, and so it can be hard to settle down at nap or nighttime. She loves that her Daddy can record stories on the iPad so that her Bluebee Pal can read a story in Daddy’s voice if he’s away. It makes her feel calm. The one she loves the best is Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site produced by OceanHouse Media. It’s all about busy builder trucks that work hard building during the day, and need to settle down to rest. Lily loves hearing the names of all the trucks and what they do.
Lily wants to be an architect when she grows up. She loves to build and design things. She knows that careful measurements go a long way when building. She saw the app Measure Up by PBS Kids. It had all her favorites from her T.V. shows and videos on YouTube. There were Peg and Cat, Dino Train and Sid! In the app, kids can explore 3 different worlds and begin to compare and contrast length, width, height, weight, and capacity. These are foundational skills not only for math and science in later years but also in navigating one’s world.
Lily’s secret wish is for a Bluebee Pal for all her sisters. There is so much for them to do – sing songs together, talk to Grammie, play games, or simply read a book. Lily also likes to play pretend with her Bluebee – her sisters and their Bluebees could all join in for a tea party, build amazing buildings with blocks, and explore outside together. It would be double the fun if all of us and our Bluebees could play together. Now she thought she heard something about a monkey named Parker…
Thanksgiving Bluebee Pal Giveaway
**Must create mandatory entry to enter for giveaway**
Bluebee’s “mouth” to move while you’re reading storybooks, engaging in learning apps, singing songs & much more! Our award-winning Bluebee Pals will enhance your child’s learning journey in a variety of ways. They can stream any song, story app (in any language), educational software and activities, to capture and retain your child’s attention all while promoting fun interaction. Bluebee Pals wide range of app compatibility introduce an exciting communication device that fosters educational opportunities for all mainstream and special needs children.
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Bluebee inspires learning through educational and therapeutic apps
- Bluebee provides a safe environment in which to practice new skills
- Bluebee serves as a witness to a child’s accomplishments
- Gentle encouragement to persist is provided through Bluebee’s presence
- Bluebee provides a novel and inviting conversational partner
- Bluebee uses AAC just like many of our students and clients
Hudson, that silly puppy, is being smart this year with a list already for Mommy to send out. What does he have on his list? Some books, some learning apps that are challenging, and of course some apps and toys for fun. Here are a few of his top picks:
Oceanhouse Media, a long-time favorite of Bluebee for their outstanding work with children’s media, has a host of Holiday Books. One that Hudson loves is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is a holiday classic where children learn about the true meaning of a family’s love and faith – it has all the elements of suspense that are near and dear to a child beginning to celebrate the holidays. It is told in a way that only Dr. Suess can. Highlighted words and the options to have the book read aloud or a parent reading or recording the book make this an outstanding app to be treasured for years to come.
My Hanukkah by Debora Castelnova is an endearing app for young children to learn about the traditions and activities of Hanukkah. This free app contains the story of Hanukkah, music, and activities such as puzzles with items used in celebrating Hanukka, spot the difference, and simple coloring pages that reinforce the story. After looking at a few other apps, this one really stood out and seemed to address developmentally appropriate activities with great care. Every activity was constructed to engage children. Hudson was thrilled to play the app over and over! There are also printables available on the website. Thank-you Debora!
Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Ocean by Nosy Crow is a delightful frolic into the ocean by finding AND MAKING both familiar and new species by scrolling through the tops and bottoms of different sea creatures. Nosy Crow has both books in interactive app form and hardbound books. It would be fun to have both for group play between Bluebee and your child so that your child could help Bluebee replicate the newly formed animal in the book. This would teach visual shifting, beginning turn-taking, and refining matching and sorting skills. Hudson likes to come up with silly and fun combinations and show them off before reading the poem aloud to his friends.
Mother Goose Club by StoryToys has been a hands-down favorite for Hudson this year, and he plays with it on a daily basis. It is a subscription-based service that is continually updated and offers new content on a monthly basis for toddlers and preschoolers. There are plenty of songs to learn and sing, games to play, and challenging learning activities. All the videos teach core foundational skills for kids in a playful way – and facilitates memory, language, and the imitation of movements.
Cowly Owl’s Little Digits has recently been updated for young users. Hudson loves to count and especially loves a good numbers shout-out to his friends. In this app, children learn the sequence and what quantity means by using a 1:1 correspondence. Through simply tapping their fingers on the screen, children drive home (body and mind) what 3 feels like, and can quickly progress to simple adding and subtraction. In this way, they begin to see numbers as applicable and real…and that plants the seed to a lifelong love for math.
Hudson loves to pretend and likes to dress up to make it seem more real. He loves the role play costumes from Melissa and Doug. Using Bluebee in an open play scheme such as being a Doctor, Police Officer, Teacher, or Chef – gives your child a chance to habituate to varying places they may go, what to do IF, and the chance to pre-rehearse unexpected changes in routine. Bluebee can whisper in Mom or Dad’s ear the possibilities of responses or actions. These then can be reinforced so that a child may know what to do in certain situations.
This is Hudson’s List…What’s on Yours?
For the holiday season, I wanted to review two different apps for children to use with Bluebee Pal. Since children celebrate all different holidays I wanted to include apps that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Bluebee can celebrate any holiday with you! With so many apps out there, I want to highlight some of my favorites.
Who doesn’t love Charlie Brown? This character is a favorite for both adults and children! A Charlie Brown Christmas and iMessage by Loud Crow Interactive Inc is a fun and interactive app and voted iPhone and iPad App of the Week. Peter Robbins who is the original voice of Charlie Brown narrates the rebirth of the 1965 animated classic as a storybook with illustrations, dialogue, and music for the Christmas season.
This app which is priced at $4.99 includes a variety of activities to keep both you and your child busy. When the app opens up, you can choose the record player or storybook. The app immediately starts reading the story, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Each page is fun and interactive with objects moving in all different ways.
For example, on the first page of the book, all of the characters on ice move in a different way. They can spin, ice skate and glide across the ice! As the story reads aloud, this is where Bluebee Pal comes in. Let Bluebee Pal take the role of the reader in this interactive storybook app. Within the storybook, you can decorate the tree and add ornaments of your choice. Take a personal picture to add to the storybook with the camera option! Throughout the story, there are other voices from different characters that will keep your child engaged and excited about the story.
Me & You/Jewish Holidays App is great for Hanukkah and all of the Jewish Holidays. With this app, you can help facilitate play, interaction with an adult and early Jewish learning for your young child. With this app, you can pose for photos in the various backgrounds representing the different holidays.
When taking pictures of your child or student (with permission from the parent if it’s your student), have them act out Jewish holiday actions. When your photos are complete, all of the photos will be combined together with a new holiday song by Elana Jagoda.
This is where Bluebee Pal can help out by singing the songs with you and your child. Within the app, you can help your child follow directives and encourage pretend play by “eating”, showing “I’m sorry” face and much more. This activity can also help work on improving a child’s ability to understand how their facial expressions can communicate specific feelings and actions. An overall fun and educational app for the family!
The Big Day is here! You’ve prepped by practicing certain aspects of the day’s celebrations – reading stories, decorating and trying or discussing new foods – but then the unexpected happens. Whatever are you going to do? Employ Bluebee to the rescue of course! Bluebee has been a trusted friend for a while, and your child knows to hold on tight when things get bumpy. By holding him tight, kids receive the body input needed to stay calm. Adults do things too to stay calm and focused – leaning against a wall, playing with the change in their pockets, or eating crunchy, chewy or creamy foods. We all look and need support when overwhelmed. Here are some strategies for the big day of keeping things running smooth.
- Using an app such as Choiceworks by BeeVisual LLC, begin the day with what the events and expectations are going to be throughout the day. This app has many applications, from using it at a grocery store for a “Food Hunt or Check-off List” or simply keeping kids in the cart by giving them a job to designing schedules, or “If/Then contingencies. Choiceworks is one of the most versatile apps that I have used in helping to keep kids regulated. One of the nicest features is the ability to take pictures of real objects and input the names of the pictures so Bluebee can read off the schedule and say all done when finished. We all are able to remain calm when we know what to expect. Many times, we think children know or can go with the flow of things when really their systems are way beyond overload already. Giving little one’s choices also helps them feel in control.
- Practice social greetings before the big day by pairing Bluebee with a phone where an older sibling or your spouse is in another room – prompting your child through Bluebee. You can even have pretend tea parties – using such apps as Toca Tea Party – (read review).
- If you need your child to wear something special – try it on and wear it before the big day to get the “scratchiness out”. Also letting the child know that the outfit is for wearing short-term. Practice having it on for an hour, then taking it off. Visual Timers are perfect for this. Search for one that pleases your child. In addition, Bluebee can wear a similar outfit too, making it less painful. I often get clothes for our Bluebees at a second-hand shop or by PJs on sale for a couple dollars or less. 6-9 month clothing seems to fit Bluebee fine.
- Try to make time for your child to adjust and try new foods before the big day. There is nothing like pulling out Aunt Birdie’s gelatin mold for the first time and expecting your child to be thrilled to eat it. If you do know of traditional holiday foods – try to incorporate a taste of them in the weeks ahead of the holiday, so the sight, sound, and taste of something new don’t send your little one over the edge. Also respect a child when he says, “No thank you.” Holiday meals are not worth a power play, but a time for families to enjoy each other. In other words – Don’t make demands you have no intention, time, or energy to follow through on – choose your battles.
- Lastly, give your child a safe space in which to go, if things get too much. Pop up tents with pillows, Bluebee and a blanket are perfect pairings. Bluebee can be set up to play soothing music or earth sounds to keep your kids calm and give them a sense of space.
What are some of your favorite strategies? Please share. And most of all Happy Days from our family at Bluebee Pals to yours!
Holidays are hectic. There is always a mad dash to get things done, new routines and foods to eat, objects to “not touch” placed about the house, and not to mention well-intentioned relatives invading personal space. This time of year is a great opportunity to provide plenty of practice in dealing with transitions – and who else better than Bluebee to help your child stay calm amidst the chaos and learn to love the holidays. Here are a few strategies for using Bluebee for special occasions:
- Decorate early and have Bluebee and your child help decide where objects go. This not only habituates children to the changes in décor but empowers them to be mindful when interacting with family traditions. Be sure to set aside your breakables in a safe “just to look-at table” or in a cabinet. When setting up a “just to look-at table” allow your child to handle and feel those objects before going on the table or in the cabinet. By having the child sitting on a sofa or carpet, include Bluebee’s thoughts and questions too. He can echo Mommy’s or Daddy’s thoughts…or you can pair your phone and have a spouse or other talk through Bluebee to share the story of how the object became a piece of family history. Let them know its importance and how it represents the love everyone in the family has for each other.
- Read stories about Holiday Routines and what is expected. Check out Helen Wagner’s post for November on recommended stories and apps for Thanksgiving. Making a social story (usually an original story with your child as the star) can help prepare your child for family traditions and special foods that you may have. Rebecca Eisenberg has several recommendations on apps for mealtime with Bluebee. These are two very experienced Speech Pathologists that have great insights into the use of Bluebee in establishing new routines. In an upcoming post, I will take you through the steps in making a social storybook.
- Just because Bluebee the Lion is named “Leo”, doesn’t mean your child can’t give him a nickname. By addressing him/her by name – gives a familiarity and space where anything can be shared. Practice talking to Bluebee and sharing your worries, and have him whisper to you a response. Many times, children know what they need, but are unable to verbalize it. Sometimes a hug from a friend is all that’s needed. Demonstrate and practice with Bluebee – as he/she is always available for hugs and advice if needed.
In Part two, we will review a few more tips for making your holidays memorable and happy!
Apps from Mrs. Wagner’s classroom November 2017
It’s November! Turkey time! Time for family get-togethers, traditions, history lessons, and remembering to be thankful! Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed apps. We love to pair them up with our favorite Bluebee Pals for maximum learning fun. Enjoy!
Turkey Forgot How To Gobble by Alexis H. Purcell
Oh no! Joey the turkey has forgotten how to gobble! His barnyard friends rooster, cat, dog, Minnie Moo and Gillie the turkey all join in to help him find his gobble! This is a cute interactive story about friendship, helping one another and perseverance. Great for learning and imitating animal sounds, same/different, wh-questions, and critical thinking skills. When you press an animal, it makes its own sound! Do you know the sounds each animal makes? Turn the pages on your own, so that you can talk about the story while you read. My preschoolers love this book app!
Just So Thankful – Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media
Little Critter learns about being thankful for what he has! There’s a new kid in town who seems to have everything, including the Super Streak scooter that Little Critter wants! But Little Critter soon discovers that he has something that money can’t buy…his loving family! This sweet story is great for teaching the value of family over possessions and has lots of vocabulary words to learn, too! One of our favorite features is the ability to record the story in your or your child’s own voice! Be sure to search for and find the hidden creatures in the book…can you find them all? Works beautifully with your Bluebee Pals!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – A Peanuts Interactive Classic for All Ages by Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
What would Thanksgiving be without this classic? Join Charlie Brown and all of the Peanuts gang as they get together for a feast! Kick a football with Charlie Brown (can he trust Lucy?), help Snoopy prepare the eats, set the table, and discover the meaning of Thanksgiving! Great fun for reading and discussion.
Hand Turkey Thanksgiving by Jay Ayres
This is a very simple but enjoyable little app for the younger ones. Press your hand on the screen to make your own turkey, then name it and decorate it! Great for cause and effect and following simple directions. You can draw and rake fall leaves and create your own turkey stampede!
The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Oceanhouse Media
The little bear family celebrates and acts out the story of the original Thanksgiving. Sister bear discovers something she is really thankful for. As always with this series, there is a moral to the story! Excellent to use for sequencing. Readers can read the book or record it in their own voice. A very sweet tale!
**I can not use this book in my public school due to its decidedly Christian perspective; however, I do love it and enjoy sharing it with friends and family!!!
What’s new in the Bluebee Pals Project? Donations, donations, donations! Kayle Concepts has connected with THE leading resource for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders – The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). CARD was founded in 1990 by Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., BCBA-D after she was inspired by a young boy named Corey.
After studying under renowned Autism therapy scientist, Dr. Ivan Lovaas for 12 years, Dr. Granpeesheh was profoundly touched by the positive affect therapy had on Corey. She began a center that now has over 100 locations across the U.S. CARD has two programs (CARD I and CARD II) that serve children birth to 21 years old in the areas of communication, friendships, health and Specialized Outpatient Services (SOS).
CARD provides families resources for health providers and therapists as well as opportunities to learn real-life strategies to help their family member with ASD gain crucial skills. Many families and person with Autism depend on organizations like CARD to assist in navigating our ever-changing world! http://www.nova.edu/card/
With the help of Dr. Carol Zangari, Director of Nova Southeastern Universities Satellite CARD, numerous Bluebee Pals have been donated to the University of Miami CARD, University of Central Florida CARD, University of Florida CARD and Florida Atlantic University CARD.
We are beyond thankful to Dr. Zangari for helping to unite Kayle Concepts and these CARD locations! Each of these centers is associated with communicative sciences and disorders clinics, allowing the donated Bluebee Pals to be used during speech-language therapy sessions! We can’t wait to hear how the speech-language pathology graduate students, clinical directors and most of all clients are interacting with Bluebee Pals!
But that’s not all! Bluebee Pals have also been donated to the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) in Tallahassee, Florida. FAAST is a part of the Florida Department of Education’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act of 1998 and as such receives grants to help provide AT services throughout Florida. FAAST has regional centers serving the Gulf Coast, Northwest, Northeast, Central, Atlantic and Southern areas of Florida. Their many services include providing information, referral services, educational programs, access to publications/research and funding opportunities related to Assistive Technology.
Those in need of AAC devices that can help them find their voice can go to FAAST for device loans, device exchange, and reuse options, AT evaluations and demonstrations. The world of Assistive Technology can be very overwhelming with families often unaware of where to start their journey. We thank FAAST for being a trustworthy guide to AAC users and their families AND letting Bluebee Pals be part of the process! It is a perfect fit as our Bluebee’s are device users themselves – communicating with the help of iPads and Android tablets! Stay tuned to hear how Bluebee Pals are being used at the Tallahassee FAAST center in the near future!
What we love…
fun personalized animal themed app that lets parents or caregivers record their voices to help teach their children about animals, also it uses real photos of animals versus cartoon depictions
What we’d love to see…
ability to more easily remove animals or categorize them by type
Fun animal themed app with educational value especially for toddlers and young children learning their animals
MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC is a iPad only app that includes over 40 animal photographs designed to teach your toddler or children about animals. The animals range from cats and dogs to whales and elephants using real photographs. It is designed for preschool aged children and teaches image recognition as well as early spelling. There are two ways to access the app, one is a “toddler/preschool” version which means they can touch the different animals; the “parent/caregiver” requires to either multi-tap or press and hold to access the setup.
One of my 2 year old’s favorite parts of the app was seeing his picture as well as the animal and hearing my voice. I always supervise my 2 year old when he is using my iPad and he seemed a bit surprised that he was hearing my voice from the iPad. When you use the app, you are presented with a photo of your child/name, the animal and then a spoken statement.
This could be a great thing for grandparents to record so that your kids remain familiar with their voices. I also liked that once your child heard the name of the animal, you could tap on it to hear the animals sound over and over again. One of the things that differentiates the app from others, is that the app uses actual photos of animals versus cartoon type animals. I also liked that it was easy to add animals, but child safe in that my son couldn’t easy delete animals without following a multi-step process.
To add the animals, first you must tap on the “add” button three times, then you can choose the specific animal you want to add from a scroll of animals. From there you record your voice (parent) reading a statement about the animal. I’ll admit, there were a few times where I did add a word like “dog” and then said the name of my mom’s dog Lacey. Once you have recorded the animals, your child can tap on the animal to see the photo of the animal as well as the spelling at the bottom which comes in while the word is pronounced.
When you first set up the app, you enter your child’s name and put a photo of them so they can see their photo as well as the image when using it. Also in the settings, you can change the background color and text to your kids favorite colors! By the time we were done testing the app, my son was practicing saying the names of his favorite animals – even ones he hadn’t been familiar with in the past.
In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if could personalize the app for more than one child. As it currently works, you can only add the name of one child/photo although I typed both of my kids names and put a photo of both of them together so one didn’t feel left out. I would also like to be able to group animals by type – for example pets like dogs, cats and horse versus insects like ladybug or bee. I would also like an easy way to “hide” or “remove” animals. As I put more animals on, at times my son would just randomly scroll looking for animals and just kept tapping rather than engaging with the app. It might also be fun if you could put in your own photos of your pets (like dog) instead of using the images contained in the app, in the future.
Overall, this is a fun animal themed app that encourages kids to learn more about animals in an easy to use toddler friendly app. It includes over 40 different animals and can provide hours of fun for your kids as they practice seeing their favorite animals.
10 Ways to Use Bluebee Pal during AAC Therapy
Bluebee Pal is a plush educational learning tool that can be connected to a tablet, phone or computer via Bluetooth. Once connected to a device (such as an iPhone or iPad), this interactive educational tool can talk, sing, etc.
Bluebee Pal’s technology includes lip synchronization that allows the animal’s “mouth” to move while reading storybooks, engaging in learning apps or singing songs. As an app reviewer for Bluebee Pals for the past two years, I have discovered countless ways of using this tool to meet speech and language goals with my clients that present with complex communication needs. To see my app reviews on Bluebee Pal’s website, click here (https://www.bluebeepals.com/beccas-app-reviews/).
In order to meet these goals below, you would need two different devices. One device that is connected to Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth and one that has a communication system installed, whether dedicated or non-dedicated for your student. As an SLP that has specialized in the field of AAC of the past 18 years, I generally target multiple goals during a variety of activities. In this article, I want to share how to use Bluebee Pal to meet AAC goals in both the therapy room and in the classroom.
- Reading a Story: Since Bluebee Pal is connected to your device, this toy can read any book to your student that is downloaded on an app or available online. When reading the story, pause, ask questions and encourage your student to comment via their AAC system. Listening to Bluebee Pal read the story can be engaging and exciting for a child, which can help meet your goals more readily. Some of my favorite story apps include Go Away Green Monster and Crepes for Suzette. I also like the story time apps One More Story and Storybots. For more suggestions of story time apps, check out my article here (http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2016/08/18/5-excellent-storytelling-apps-for-kids-with-special-needs/)
- Improving choice making: During an AAC evaluation or training present Bluebee as a choice for requesting. With the child’s communication device, they can work on creating sentences and use describing words to request Bluebee. This would be a great opportunity to create the sentence, “I want soft Zebra”, or “I want blue puppy”. For those children who want to figure out how to say Bluebee without it being programmed, navigate to colors for “blue” and then the “bugs” page for bee. Combine to say Bluebee! Other ways that a child can make choices is within the app itself. The child can request specific sounds within a soundboard app like in the picture below. This is a wonderful opportunity for creative and complex sentences that can be modeled and then communicated by the child.
- Answer “wh” questions: This is often a common goal that appears on IEPs and lesson plans. Use Bluebee pal to ask questions in the app About You and Me by Super Duper Publications. Responding to Bluebee pal can increase motivation and engagement among students. This can also help the student practice answering “wh” questions about themselves.
- Social Story Companion: Social stories are commonplace in special education classroom because they help meet a variety of both social and communication goals. Use an app such as Pictello and let Bluebee read the social story with your student.
- Pretend Play: Bluebee Pal is perfect for dramatic play! Since Bluebee is a stuffed animal, he can participate in lots of different play from dress up to be at a tea party! There are a variety of ways that you can incorporate Bluebee into dramatic play. Bluebee can start conversations with your student via being connected to a communication app or provide the voice and music in the app such as Toca Boca Tea Party.
- Use for AAC Assessment: The app that I use often for assessment is AAC Genie. With Bluebee connected, this tool can help with assessment. Let this educational tool guide your student through the protocol which can help keep the child motivated during the evaluation. For a more in-depth look at how to use Bluebee with AAC genie, click here (https://www.bluebeepals.com/app-reviews/make-aac-assessment-interactive-bluebee-pal-pro/)
- Learn Phonics: Learning phonics and literacy is the key to communication. With the app, Phonics you can expose your student to exploring phonics. Another way is using the phonic keyboard on Touch Chat with Word Power during a literacy activity. Let Bluebee Pal answer the question, “What does the letter “a” sound like?”
- Categorization: Working on categorization is another common goal to target during speech and language therapy. When a child can learn categories more readily, this can help speed up communication and expand vocabulary. It can also help with improving word association. With one app that I reviewed called Categories Therapy Lite, Bluebee Pal can help a child learn categories. To learn more about learning categories with Bluebee Pal, click on the app review here (https://www.bluebeepals.com/app-reviews/beccas-app-reviews/category-therapy-lite-bluebee-pals/).
- Learning Actions: Learn actions with the app, Actions in Video. This app can help students combine symbols together into sentences focused on actions. At the end of the sentence, hear Bluebee Pal say the whole sentence or record your own voice. To practice on their AAC system, ask them to construct the same sentences on their AAC system with modeling and prompting as needed.
- Turn-taking in conversation: Bluebee Is a perfect companion for practicing taking turns in conversation. This can be done with a Bluebee connected to an iPad with a communication app or within an app such as Elmo Calls. For more tips on how to use Elmo Calls with Bluebee, check out my review here (https://www.bluebeepals.com/app-reviews/beccas-app-reviews/phone-calls-elmo/).
AUTHOR : Rebecca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist, author, instructor, and parent of two children, who began her website gravitybread.com to create a resource for parents to help make mealtime an enriched learning experience. She has worked as a specialist in area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication for over 15 years serving both children and adults with varying disabilities in schools, day habilitation programs, home care and clinics.
Becca currently works as a speech language pathologist on the tech team at the Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, NY.
Literacy and Mealtime
We are proud to present the Learning® Magazine 2017 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award Family Evaluation Form. Below you will find the comments on Bluebee Pals. As you read the comments, please note that this is the literal text from the evaluation forms. They have not differentiated comments between the teachers on each team who provide the insight into the panel’s thoughts on our product.
Product: Bluebee Pals – Lion Company: Kayle Concepts What aspects of this product did you like most?
I can’t say enough about this awesome toy. It is not only cute but is hard to leave alone. It is soft and stands up to much playfulness with the children. The lion is very realistic when he talks. It is so easy to get started. None of us had to read the instructions. It has many great features. This was reminiscent of Teddy Ruxpin, though not nearly as creepy as I remember him. However, the excitement that this Lion created for my six-year-old was that same crazy love that everyone had for old Teddy back in the 80s. The website had a lot of great things going for it. The font used was big and clear and the pictures were great. I especially loved how the children looked real, not like kids picked to do a GAP ad. Everything is clear and looks clean.
The Bluebee Pals were a hit with my youngest child. He was absolutely fascinated with the fact that the lion could be used for phone calls, music, and learning applications. I was really impressed with the quality of the sound from the speakers. We never had any connection problems with any of the Bluetooth devices we used. The directions are thoroughly written, so I really had no need to watch the demonstration video, however, I did to ensure I was not missing anything. The stitching on the animal was strong, so there were never any issues with holes or tears in the animal. He is so soft, and my son loved to cuddle with him during story times.
When we used it with the learning applications and stories, it was a great tool to keep my son focused for a longer period of time. We are always reading to our boys, which is so important in early literacy development. This is a great way to have your child read to at any time of the day! What would you recommend to make this product better? Did you
Do find Bluebee Pals product interesting or motivating for children? Please explain. My kids take this lion almost everywhere. They both love it. It is helpful with my son for reading. It is also just fun to watch a story or song come to life while the lion tells it to you. The lion is very well synchronized. We all love him! My son loves this Lion. He loved it the moment we took it out of the box. He loved solely as a stuffed animal and usually prefers baby dolls to stuffed animals so this is pretty big for him. We connected it to Pandora, it’s all he wanted to do for days, just listen to Pandora through “Bluebee“. He also almost lost his mind when we took a call from Daddy and Daddy was talking through Bluebee. His biggest disappointment in life is that all of our calls don’t come through Bluebee and that we don’t get more calls.
He really thinks of Bluebee as his friend. My son was very motivated to use this product. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, he was excited to read books and work on learning applications because his lion pal was talking to him. I definitely can see this used at home, and even in a preschool setting to motivate children to want to do learning activities. It really makes the learning come alive for the child! I felt like a kid again when I turned him on and he came to life. He reminded me of my Teddy Ruxpin from a long time ago!
Would you recommend this product to another parent whose child is at the appropriate grade/age level? Why or why not? Yes, yes, yes. This is an awesome educational and fun toy for all ages. I like it, my 12-year-old dies, and my nine years old adores it. The lion, bluebee pal, is highly recommended. I would. It’s a cute fun product and makes for a sweet friend for children. It was fun to see my son’s face light up every time he played with it and how everyone who has come to my house since we got him got a proper introduction. He brags about all the things “Bluebee” can do and before we know it a dance party has broken out.
What parent doesn’t want a dance party, especially when the alternative might be another round of PlayStation 3? Thank you for the dance parties, Bluebee Pals. I would recommend this product to children ages 3-5. My oldest son had an initial attraction to the product, but it was my youngest that was absolutely fascinated with it. I think this is a great way to motivate children to want to read, so anything that promotes early literacy interest/skills is a great product. You can use it for just playing music while the family joins in on the fun or a more focused environment like a learning activity. I was really impressed with the Bluebee Pals. Great product!!
Bluebee Pals were donated to University of Miami – Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). Individuals with autism and related disabilities frequently require specialized services and supports.
CARD, The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities, is a network of state-funded outreach and support centers based at universities around the state. In South Florida, the main center is at the University of Miami (UM-NSU CARD).
The center at NSU(Nova Southern University) is a satellite of UM-NSU CARD and was established in 1999 to serve the community in Broward County. They are housed in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) in the College of Health Care Sciences at Nova Southeastern University and collaborate closely with the main South Florida CARD Center at the University of Miami.
Dr. Carole Zangari serves as Executive Director of the NSU Satellite and met with Laura Jiencke(founder of Bluebee Pals) to discuss and confirm the Bluebee donation to various offices and branches of UM-NSU CARD. She is a professor of speech-language pathology (SLP) at Nova Southeastern University. In addition to autism and other developmental disabilities, her areas of interest include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), assistive technology, and literacy.
What is CARD? CARD stands for the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities. Our center, based at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University, is one of seven state-funded, university-based outreach and support centers in Florida dedicated to optimizing the potential of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), dual sensory impairment, sensory impairments with other disabling conditions, and related disabilities.
In addition to ASD, CARD also serves a variety of related disabilities including deaf-blindness, sensory impairments with other disabling conditions, developmental delays in children under 5 who also present with autistic-like behaviors, and genetic disorders that may co-exist with autism symptoms (e.g., Fragile X Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, Angelman Syndrome, among others). Over the years, CARD’s constituency has grown from 88 families in 1993 to over 9,000 families today in Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties.
CARD services are designed to build on the capacities of state and local resources, not to duplicate or replace them. CARD provides families with resources specific to their needs. Some of the services that CARD provides include:
- Individualized Client and Family Support
• Family and Professional Training
• Public Education and Awareness and Community Outreach
• Programmatic Consultation and Technical Assistance
University of Miami – Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD)
CARD Main Office
University of Miami
5665 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
P.O. Box 248768
Coral Gables, FL 33124
CARD Satellite Office
Nova Southeastern University
6100 Griffin Road
Davie, FL 33314
CARD Branch Office
By appointment only.
CARD Branch Office
5801 NW 151st Street Suite #201
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
CARD Branch Office
By appointment only.
The attention span for a 3-4-year-old is typically 3-8 minutes. Of course if truly motivated by an activity kids may focus and engage for longer, but respect a child’s right to say “All Done”. All done may be after finishing or cleaning up, but then end the activity. Picking up an activity later is always an option, and many times may happen 5 minutes later! Presenting kids with choices and decisions helps them recall directions and rules. It also empowers them to repeat play and to experiment with their behaviors and responses. In addition, providing choices supports a child to be an independent and lifelong learner. Children at the age of 3-4 love challenges and testing out their new-found abilities. 3-4-year-olds base what they know on information obtained through direct experience. Asking a child to help you with practical life tasks encourages them to recall the steps of an activity, and therefore they begin to rehearse the steps needed to memory. Simple turn-taking games teach waiting flexibility, and the ability to retain directives. 3-4-year-olds also need to win most of the time when playing games, as they have difficulty shifting between concepts and ideas.
These are all great apps to use with Bluebee pals for 3-4-year-olds. They facilitate skills that are developmentally appropriate to expand a child’s ability to interact and learn from their world. Because children at this age have blurred lines between fantasy and reality, it doesn’t matter if the app itself is paired with their Bluebee Pal. Bluebee is a loyal and trusted friend you can share your thoughts, feelings and in addition, someone to bear witness to your newly discovered talents. So, “When an app doesn’t pair, don’t despair!” Children will benefit from both. Saying “Bluebee wants to watch and learn from you”, is not only empowering by a child taking on a leadership role but also of tremendous benefit for self-confidence. And that is what turns child’s play into the making of a ready learner.
Apple Patch Therapy & Learning is a family and therapist-owned private practice in Orlando, Florida. Named “Best Speech Pathologists in Orlando 2017”, Apple Patch provides comprehensive speech and language therapy services to adults and children in the home and clinical settings.
I had the pleasure of working with Apple Patch Therapy this Summer thanks to the dedicated and forward-thinking owners Dino and Josann Fernandez. Not only do their therapists provide specialized 1:1 therapy to children and adult, but they are also privy to the Fernandez’s tech adventures! Dino and Josann are currently developing an app to facilitate the treatment of various modes of speech and language called SLP Assistant!
I instantly knew that Apple Patch would be a perfect fit for implementation of Kayle Concepts Bluebee Pals educational tool. Their love for incorporating innovative technology into therapy sessions showed as they dove in head first with the Bluebee Pals. The speech-language pathologist used Bluebee Pals with children in the home and clinical settings during 1:1 therapy and the results were exceptional!
Some of the highlights were:
- higher engagement for children
- increased phrase length when talking to Bluebee
- sustained participation in repetitive tasks
- motivation from all ages including middle school students
- great tool for following directions
- success as a communication icebreaker for conversational skills
- wonderful signing partner
- increased sustained participation and motivation for articulation drilling
The therapists at Apple Patch Therapy were very creative with their use of the educational tool! They used Bluebee Pals as an “alter ego” to comfort their more shy and reserved clients as well as encouraging them to hold the cute and plush toy for an additional sensory component. We were thrilled to hear that Bluebee Pals were able to help children reach their communication goals while having fun during therapy sessions! We can’t wait to see what else the inspiring Apple Patch team with Bluebee Pals in the near future! http://www.applepatchtherapy.com
Oh Boy! It’s October! My students and I are getting all geared up for plenty of good books and apps! Here are some of our favorites for this month! Grab your Bluebee Pal and try one out!
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Loud Crow Interactive Inc
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/id552498441?mt=8. Gather around with your Bluebee Friends and enjoy this classic Halloween tale, complete with the original narration! Create your own avatar and costume, and carve a pumpkin! All of your Peanuts friends are here to celebrate the big event! Will the Great Pumpkin make an appearance?This is a great book to read and discuss, retell, and practice sequencing!
Mystery Word Town – Sight Word Spelling by Artgig Studio
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mystery-word-town-sight-word-spelling/id983733111?mt=8 This is a fun app to practice spelling skills! Your goal is to find the gold and capture the outlaws in Word Town! Explore the buildings to complete spelling challenges. Featuring 3 levels of difficulty, you can use the included word lists, or create your own. You can even record your voice to use with your own words. This is an excellent way to easily practice spelling and vocabulary words. For use with single or multiple players. My kids have so much fun, they forget they are learning! You can play this game with your Bluebee Pal by your side!
Mystery Math Museum by Artgig Studio
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mystery-math-museum/id640754583?mt= This is an engaging app for practicing math skills while exploring 8 museums while helping a friendly ghost rescue dragonflies! Unlock rooms and passages as you practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills. Select the skills you want to work on by customizing the activities to suit your needs! Great for problem-solving and critical thinking skills!
Room on the Broom: Flying by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/room-on-the-broom-flying/id949494519?mt=8Take control of the friendly witch’s broom and fly across the sky! Collect stars along the way to see how high you can score! Pick up all of your friends, but watch out for the fire-breathing dragon! Catch letters to spell words! What fun!
Room on the Broom: Games by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/room-on-the-broom-games/id705107094?mt=8 There are 8 magical games to play to foster creativity and critical thinking skills, all while having fun! Collect medals while playing the games, which feature all of the wonderful characters from the book! You can fly from star to star making pictures in the sky, help the dragon eat his favorite food, help find things the friendly witch has dropped, and much, much more!
“Room on the Broom”
https://www.amazon.com/Room-Broom-Julia-Donaldson/dp/0142501123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507780874&sr=8-1&keywords=room+on+the+broom .One of our favorite books to read in October is “Room on the Broom”. We complete language learning activities centered around the book. the book, from Amazon: “The witch and the cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and they all return to ride on the broom. But is there room for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?”After reading the book, I let my students play the companion games which are available in the iTunes App Store. There are 2 apps and we love to play both!
With a lot of novel stimuli coming at your child this Halloween, it makes sense to use Bluebee to help your child prepare for a variance in routine. The Halloween Holiday Apps listed on the website here and here are all ways to practice the sequence of what the celebration is all about. It also habituates a child to the sights and more importantly the sounds of the holiday.
By playing or engaging in Halloween activities, it will help a child learn to self-regulate in a safe environment. They can practice facing fears, learn perspective taking, and get into all sorts of scary silly fun in the comforts of home and with loved ones like Bluebee. Some kids that are sensory sensitive may need rehearsals to wear a costume or have costumes made from simple comfortable clothing. One of my sons was sensitive to the fabrics used for most costumes, and so I learned to adapt to his needs through the use of everyday clothing or a sweatshirt and pant that I could paint or alter. It made participation more about the joys of the season rather than the scratchy outfit he was made to wear. By being aware of your child’s cues and adapting – the pay-off is big. The focus is then on fun and how to use these new-found skills appropriately. The biggest plus, however, is that all actions are reinforced with laughter, family fun, and CANDY simply for partaking in the traditions!
Tips for Using Bluebee to prepare for Halloween
To Habituate to Wearing Costumes:
- Have your child dress up Bluebee in silly costumes. I have found that clothing size 6 months to a year fits Bluebee, with 6-9-months being the best fit. If dressing up Bluebee, a child can desensitize to the variations in fabrics and textures and won’t be so freaked out when trying to wear them if he/she has had familiarity with them.
- There is no need to buy new clothing, I buy most of our Bluebee clothes at a Church Thrift Shop. That way I help others and don’t spend a lot.
- And if these tips still do not work, your child can take Bluebee dressed in costume to trick-or-treat and collect candy and goodies for the two of them to share.
To Habituate to the Sounds and Loud Animated Decorations
- Visits stores if able and listen to the displays
- Play Halloween songs, games or apps to familiarize your child with the sound of ghosts, witches, and all things scary. Model appropriate behaviors and responses “Oh, that sounds like that silly ghost toy”.
- And if this does not work, sound deadening headphones may give your child relief.
To Prepare for the Big Day
- Use a visual schedule or a social story to outline the sequence of events. You can make your own social story by taking pictures of your child or using pictures of Bluebee or family members Trick or Treating.
- PLAY, PLAY, PLAY at Trick or Treating and use real treats!
- Again play games, music, and apps to ready your child for the big event.
And if you should get scared….Hold on to Bluebee tight, because FRIENDS ALWAYS get you through those tough spots!
Fun Spanish Language Learning games is a free and engaging app for children who want to learn Spanish. This app is part of series of many different apps by Study Cat include Fun Chinese, Fun French and much more. The app includes 2 Free Lessons and 13 Learning Games. The app is designed for children ages 3-10 and includes courses for preschool, early learners and young children learning different languages. The app combines a language course with different games to keep a child engaged and entertained while learning. The course is divided into lessons with each lesson including core vocabulary in several contexts. Both male and female voices are included with appropriate intonation and expression to learn the pronunciation correctly. The free lessons included are colors and animals. More lessons are available for purchase including numbers, body, fruits, food, clothes, vehicles, the house, sea animals, school bag lesson, and actions. Children love learning and languages introducing at an early age are considered easier to absorb than in later teen years.
These lessons can be purchased individually or in a pack.
Connect your Bluebee Pal!
1. Connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth to your tablet.
2. Let the fun begin. Bluebee Pal can provide the audio feedback during all of the games by helping your child learn new Spanish vocabulary in addition to aiding your child with the sounds of the letters for early learners.
3. Practice the free games in the category of Animals such as Silhouettes (identifying each animal), Two by Two (learn plurals), Spellbounce (spell the animals in Spanish), Whack (singular and plural), Animal Band (reviewing the animals) or Voice Choice (provide your own voice). With Bluebee Pal, learning Spanish will be endless fun for you and your child. Now they have a tech companion that can also teach and motivate them.
Julia, the newest Muppet member on Sesame Street is helping her peers like Big Bird and Elmo get a handle on what being on the Autism Spectrum looks and feels like. And it seems to be working. Although Julia is just making her debut appearance on Sesame Street program this month, a team of researchers from Georgetown University has been studying how effective the program has proven for families who have experienced Sesame’s autism materials which have been in the works longer. After surveying over 1,000 families, more than a third of whom have children with autism the preliminary findings suggest the material helps these families feel more comfortable incorporating them in broader community activities, and that families whose children do not have autism are more accepting of those kids that are on the spectrum.
Several years ago, there was a research study conducted at the University of Central Florida’s Anxiety Disorder Clinic which teamed up with Virtually Better (an Atlanta based interactive technology company) to develop a computer simulation program that allows children to practice social skills in a safe environment through the use of on-screen avatars. The simulation featured a realistic school setting and the on-screen figures include classmates such as a “cool girl”, “smart girl” and a bully as well as a teacher and a principal. The school environment for the program was designed with input from elementary school teachers and the classmates audio responses were recorded by real children so the language reflects real-life conversations. Concepts like greetings, giving and receiving compliments, being assertive and answering questions were practiced between the child and the avatar (with a clinician controlling the role/responses of the avatars from another room). The study focused on children ages 8-12 with social anxiety disorders, but it seems like this would be a concept that could be expanded in the future to include kids on the spectrum and/or with SPD issues.
Then there is Kaspar, the humanoid robot developed at the of the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England. So far, they’ve built 28 prototypes and research into the effectiveness of Kaspar in supporting children with autism has been published in internationally renowned academic journals.
Finally, check out Bluebee Pals. These friendly, huggable stuffed animals can connect with apps through smart phones, tablets, laptop or any blue tooth enabled device for providing a more animated interaction with technology.
You can find them in our Language & Communication Assortment here. And thanks for spreading the word that April is Autism Awareness Month!
It’s never too early to expose your child to different languages, especially in the younger years. “During this period and especially the first three years of life, the foundations for thinking, language, vision, attitudes, aptitudes, and other characteristics are laid down,” says Ronald Kotulak, author of Inside the Brain. In this article, I am going to list some parent and child-friendly apps to get you started with learning new languages with your child’s favorite interactive toy, Bluebee Pal!
Duolingo is fun and free! It allows you to learn up to 23 languages- Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Norwegian, Polish, Hebrew, Esperanto, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Welsh, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, and Swahili. How does the app work? You can choose to create an account or start without signing in. Next, choose a language! Do you want to learn the language casually (5 minutes a day), regular (10 minutes a day), serious (15 minutes a day) or insane (20 minutes a day). Then you either choose the option, beginner or not a beginner which will lead you to a placement test. For children, choose beginner and start the course! The app will open up and start asking multiple choice questions with visuals. Once a choice is activated, you will hear the correct pronunciation of the word and the app will continue. This free version has ads but an ad-free version of this app can be purchased through the app which also includes additional lessons. The free version contains the first lesson which gives you the opportunity to try the app and see if you want to purchase the full version. To learn how to use this with Bluebee Pal, click here.
Baby Sign Language Dictionary-Lite allows the child an opportunity to learn some simple and functional signs for more effective communication. The full version of this app includes 340 signs and over 1 hour of video instruction. This app includes 40 signing video demonstrations and is easy to follow along. According to the app developer, “The keyword signs demonstrated in this video dictionary are based on American Sign Language (ASL). All signs have been carefully selected for their ease of use, helpfulness to carers and appropriateness for baby’s interests and daily routine.” Each sign contains a detailed video tutorial with simple instructions on how to perform the sign, tips to help you remember the sign and practical suggestions on how to introduce the sign to your baby. Various categories included in this app are action words, animals, colors, daily routines, feelings and emotions, food, manners and behavior, nature and much more. Within the settings, you can choose to see the single sign only, autoplay, autoplay, and shuffle or manual transition and shuffle. To learn about how to use this app with Bluebee Pal, check out my review here.
Take a virtual trip to Paris with Suzette, the crepe maker with this language-rich story app that includes a children’s book, videos, photos of Paris and an interactive map with the unique opportunity to explore target words in different languages. Five other languages can be narrated with app including Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese. When playing the app, Suzette (the Parisian crêpe maker and street cart vendor) takes her cart through the streets of Paris and makes delicious crêpes along the way. She meets a postman who orders a strawberry crêpe, children who request chocolate crêpes and the shopper who likes crêpes sprinkled with sugar. On each page, there is the ability to activate each character on the page who all speak the keyword in different voices. This app can not only teach your child new words, but you can learn some fun facts as well! To learn how to use this app with Bluebee Pal, click here.
Fun Spanish Language Learning games is a free and engaging app for children who want to learn Spanish. This app is part of series of many different apps by Study Cat including Fun Chinese, Fun French and much more. The app includes 2 Free Lessons and 13 Learning Games. The app is designed for children ages 3-10 and includes courses for preschool, early learners and young children learning different languages. The app combines a language course with different games to keep a child engaged and entertained while learning. The course is divided into lessons and each lesson includes core vocabulary in several contexts. Both male and female voices are included with appropriate intonation and expression to learn the pronunciation correctly. The free lessons included are colors and animals. More lessons are available for purchase including numbers, body, fruits, food, clothes, vehicles, the house, sea animals, school bag lesson, and actions.These lessons can be purchased individually or in a pack. To learn how to use this app with Bluebee Pal, click here.
Bluebee Pals are great therapeutic tools for speech therapists and behavior therapists. They have already proven themselves to be invaluable in the classroom setting and are now making their way into therapy centers around the United States. Bluebee Pals are a great assistive technology device that enhances the overall experience of iPad or Android Tablet.Turns therapy activities on the iPad into a more engaging experience, giving kids additional sensory component as they have to hold and touch the animals.Children respond to these huggable furry tech animals adding another dimension to therapy. https://www.bluebeepals.com/therapists/
Beyond the Spectrum, a therapeutic and educational center for children with Autism in Sarasota, FL recently used Bluebee Pals helped motivate a child to use the potty for the first time! A speech-language pathologist with Apple Patch Therapy in Orlando, Florida also found success using the Sammy the Bear to encourage a client to participate in language and articulation therapy and following directions tasks when Bluebee gives the actual directions. Her client increased attention to task dramatically to earn time with his Bluebee Pal! Affiliates centers with AblePlay-Lekotek in Georgia, Illinois, North Dakota, New York, L.A. and North Dakota have been using Bluebee Pals to engage students in therapeutic play!
The Apps section of the Bluebee Pal website lists many of the therapeutic apps that these therapists are using to address therapy goals in a fun and innovative way. These include Text to Speech, Articulate It, Super Duper Following Directions, Food Frenzy, Super Duper Category App, Autism iHelp Apps, See Touch Learn,
Speech Flip Book and many many more! Tablet and iPad technology are used almost daily in most therapeutic settings making it very easy for therapists to connect the Bluebee Pals and begin using them during sessions instantly!
So, get your Bluebee Pal and start taking your therapy to the next level!
At School Specialty, they offer award-winning brands and over 110,000 items for educators in every discipline. School Specialty brands address the full spectrum of educational needs, from basic school supplies to furniture and playground equipment, to standards-based curriculum solutions.Abilitations special needs products developed by therapists, educators, parents, and children.
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Abilitations and School Specialty are committed to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs. They strive to offer the most comprehensive assortment of products and solutions for all children and the therapists, educators, and families that support them. From theraputty to fidgets, to weighted blankets, swings and more we offer the most effective special needs resources and solutions available. In addition, they reinforce our commitment and support through our Blog, our Bright Solutions tips from the pro’s and our on-staff experts to answer all your questions.
Do you want to teach your child to be more independent in the kitchen? How about helping them to prepare and purchase food? Dinner preparation can be a very busy and stressful time for parents due to homework, after-school activities, sports, etc. Often, we rush through preparing our meals to just get the food on the table. Teaching your child food preparation can not only be a fun and bonding activity, it can also help target language and learning goals.
Language concepts such as expanding vocabulary, following directions, recalling information and sequencing are just a few goals to start with! Bluebee Pal can help by providing that extra level of entertainment and engagement with your child. With these apps suggested below, your child will become a little chef in your kitchen! The key to carrying over these skills is by playing the apps with your child together when learning the app and then engaging in the same steps at home in your own kitchen. Labeling specific modes of cooking can be helpful. For example, when your child is microwaving a vegetable in Toca Kitchen, say “I see that you are using the microwave to cook the vegetable. Where is our microwave?”
Sidechef App: SideChef makes cooking accessible, easy and fun at any skill level by providing the user with step-by-step photos, instructions, and voice commands. This free app includes over 3500 step by step recipes and a homepage that changes daily with helpful tips. Each recipe has an integrated timer and allows for hands-free cooking with the timer and audio feature. To learn more about how to use Side Chef with your child and Bluebee Pal, click here.
A Day in the Market app: A Day in the Market (Araw sa Palengke) a story app that is about little girl’s very first trip to the market with her mother. The market is an exciting cultural adventure as she meets lively vendors, see a variety of foods and items and finds a special item that she wants! This story can help give a child background in purchasing foods for a special meal. For an additional $2.99, you get access to the book in two other languages, a sorting game and interactive scenes that bring the book to life. The story and illustrations were tested with more than a hundred schoolchildren who gave their feedback and thoughts about the story and art. To learn more about how to use this app with Bluebee Pal, click here.
Ice Cream and Smoothies Panda Shop app. It’s never too cold for ice and smoothies! Healthy breakfast smoothies can be an excellent way to get your child to start their day off right. This app allows a child to manage their own shop and make their customers happy by customizing each order. The player will be able to choose your favorite shapes, fruits, and flavors with more than 10 choices. The app will also help a child learn specific flavors and different fruits which can help build vocabulary and learn the various foods within the category of fruit. Other categories include shapes, appliances and other food groups such as dairy (e.g. milk). It will also help with sequencing, following directions, prediction, categorization, and learning simple actions (cut, scoop, blend, eat, etc.). After playing this app, make your own smoothies in the kitchen for breakfast. To learn more about this app and how to use Bluebee Pal with it, click here.
Dr. Panda’s Restaurant Asia: Learn all about how to prepare Asian food with Dr. Panda Restaurant Asia app! As the character enters the restaurant, Dr. Panda greets his first customer. How will Dr. Panda prepare the food? Should he chop the food first? After chopping the vegetables, Dr. Panda will help you through the next steps of the recipe. By paying attention to Dr. Panda’s nonverbal language (nodding his head yes or no), your child will figure out the steps of the recipe. Will the customer like the food? Find out by playing this app with your child! To learn more about how to use his app with Bluebee Pal, click here: https://www.bluebeepals.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=32319&action=edit
Toca Kitchen: Toca Kitchen is an excellent app to help teach your child about the different types of food preparation. When the game opens up, you have the ability to choose a character and then prepare food for them. First, you choose a food from the fridge and then it’s time to prepare! Choose from chopping, blending, boiling, sautéing or microwaving! Your child will be an expert in the kitchen after playing with this app. To learn how to use this app with Bluebee Pal, click here: https://www.bluebeepals.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=32319&action=edit
Summertime is over! Kids are back in school! Gather your Bluebee Pals and children and get ready to learn! Here are some favorite apps from our classroom to help you get back in the “groove”!
Children are back to school continuing their learning path and ready to learn new academic skills. At home, parents are the first and most important teachers in the early, developmental years. Young children learn essential, foundational speech, receptive and expressive language, social, pre-reading, cognitive, numeracy and communication skills necessary for future academic success through meaningful play and lots of language rich learning opportunities. **Bluebee Pal Teacher Ambassador Helen Wagner
Zap Zap Kindergarten Math
This app features colorful intergalactic mini-math games targeting foundational math skills such as developing number sense, counting to 100, addition and subtraction to 20, making comparisons, shapes and measurements, 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, and more. It uses an adaptive learning function that challenges while adjusting the difficulty level of each game to meet learner needs. Children have so much fun flying their spaceship in outer space, earning jigsaw puzzle pieces, and unlocking new spaceships!
Hideout: Early Reading
Grab your favorite Bluebee Pal for this fun, interactive early reading app! Featuring 9 totally engaging mini-games, your child will practice blending sounds into words with the following phonics patterns: -AP, -OP, -IT, -ET, -EN, -AG, -UB, -IP, -OCK. Each pattern is presented with sound blending practice to make words, a fun mini-game, and a short read aloud using words from the game. Activities are lively and students love to play over and over. A great beginning app for struggling or beginning readers!
Avokiddo ABC Ride – Fun Alphabet and Spelling Games
ABC Ride is one of our favorites! Hop on your bike and go on an alphabet adventure! Ride to each letter of the alphabet for fun play in each of 26 activity scenes. Solve puzzles, find hidden letters, and practice spelling skills. You can ride to each letter scene in order, or choose to visit letters randomly. Jump and jiggle on the jelly for J, Cram the candy into Clyde, Bop the balloons to break them, or change Dotty’s dirty diaper (this one always elicits lots of giggles)! With your Bluebee Pal, learning the alphabet is fun! My students love the zany, interactive activities!
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
I love teaching through books! Lots of my students lack exposure to some of the “classics”! This is the traditional story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, with a twist. As you read the story, there are on- screen questions and comments to get your child thinking and to stimulate conversation, vocabulary, and language. The app also offers a read and record feature where your child can record themselves retelling the story! This is a fun app for language development, sequencing, and vocabulary. It is especially fun to read along with your favorite Bluebee Pal! My kids have a blast when their Bluebee Pal reads the story back to them in their own voice! You Tell Me Stories, Inc. offer lots of interactive books, check them out!
Learn all about how to prepare Asian food with Dr. Panda Restaurant Asia app! How will Dr. Panda prepare the food? With over 20 ingredients to choose from, the player will get the opportunity to make a variety of food choices including stir fry, sushi, soup and more! Key features include the ability to chop, boil, fry, blend and much more! When playing this app, the player will get the opportunity to experiment with cooking given no limit constraints and learn nonverbal cues of the customers to see if they are enjoying their food or not.
In the beginning of the game, the customer enters the restaurant, Dr. Panda opens the door and greets his first customer. As the customer sits down, the bubble will give you a clue about what he wants to eat. Will it be soup, sushi or stir fry? You have to play to find out! As Dr. Panda enters the kitchen, all of his ingredients are in front of him. It’s up to the child to follow the steps to the recipe.
For example, when making sushi, the seaweed and rice are available. When following the steps of seaweed and rice, the fish becomes available to place on top of the rice. This app is excellent for sequencing and learning the steps to preparing food! Does your customer like cucumber, shrimp or a different type of fish for dinner? Roll it up and then chop! Add a little seasoning for that final touch! It’s ready to be served. After feeding your customer, you will know from their reaction whether they liked it or not and what their preferences are.
Bluebee will make this activity super fun by providing the sound effects, music and some of the limited speech in the app!
- Connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth to your favorite tablet.
- Get started! As the customer enters the restaurant, you will hear Bluebee greet the customer by providing the audio feedback. As the child is playing the game, Bluebee will provide the music in the background. By playing this game, the child will begin to learn the nonverbal cues of Dr. Panda and the customer.
- Practice nonverbal cues with Bluebee Pal! Nod his head up and down for yes and back and forth for no. Practice with Bluebee Pal by offering him food and determining if he likes it or not. This can be an excellent way to engage in pretend play as well as learn nonverbal communication.
Toca Kitchen is an app to help your child explore cooking in a fun and nonmessy environment! Does your child or student even want to play with their food? When you open the app, you choose one of out of four characters. Once you choose a character, you have the choice of selecting one of twelve different ingredients from the refrigerator. How will you prepare these ingredients? There are 180 different ways that you can prepare these foods! Explore the process of slicing, boiling, frying, cooking, microwaving and mixing all in one app. Is your child a vegetarian? You can even switch the mode to vegetarian.
This app is an excellent way. One of the best parts of the app is feeding the food to your customer. Will they like it or hate it? How can you tell? The app is also an excellent way to work on facial expressions and nonverbal communication. Toca Kitchen is also an excellent way to explore food groups, various actions, and sequencing. For more fun with Toca Boca and cooking, check out Toca Kitchen 2 app!
Let Bluebee in the kitchen for some fun cooking together!
- Connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth. Let the fun begin!
- Bluebee Pal will now provide the music in the background as well as the sound effects of the various cooking preparations and the vocal expressions from the characters.
- Try role-playing with Bluebee Pal with pretend food. Use toys to imitate the various food preparations and let Bluebee join in on the cooking and tasting of the foods. Will Bluebee like the foods that are prepared? How can you tell? Although Bluebee can’t change their expression, use language to express their feelings on the food. Words such as “I like that” or “Yuck!” are good ways to tell if they like the food or not. A head nod can also be a sure sign of a good meal!
MILWAUKEE — Summer is a time to take the academic pressure off kids so they can have fun — but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Speech Language Pathologist, Sherry Artemenko, joins Real Milwaukee Fox6now with some games and toys that can sharpen kids’ reading skills all summer long. Sherry highlights games and toys she considers wonderful educational tools that motivate and engage children to learn.
Play on Words speech and language expert Sherry Artemenko recognizes exceptional toys, games, and books that encourage language, spark fun and invite creative play.Sherry provides individual, in-home speech and language therapy to children ranging from one- to ten-years-old, building speech and language skills through play. Whether it’s taking cars through a carwash with your preschooler or sailing a pirate ship across the table with your five-year-old, Sherry utilizes imagination and play to communicate and teach speech and language skills.
A vital component of the therapy process is the involvement of the child’s parents, who are encouraged to be part of the session and are given weekly suggestions to help improve progress. After watching a session, parents often say, “Now I know how to do it!” or “I learned so much today.” Daily parental reinforcement of target sounds, language structures, fluency and social language goals will help children to maximize their therapy experience and improve their speech and language progress overall.
Real Milwaukee Fox6now: Bluebee Pals are on Sherry’s Spring PAL Award winners in the Pre-literacy/Reading category:
Bluebee Pals by Kayle Concepts (Pre-K-3rd grade) $64.99
• Where cuddle meets technology
• Connect Monkey to a Bluetooth enabled device–phone, tablet or laptop and they become a learning pal
• Bluebee Pal utilized in a 1st-grade classroom. They were the kid’s favorite activity during ‘Smart time‘ as the animals ‘read’ to the kids, lip-synching the words to stories or learning apps.
• Learning to read through many channels–auditory, visual, sensory, keep attention
It’s back to school time! We have some new, enjoyable apps on our classroom iPad to share with you!
SPOTLIGHT APP: Lively Letters – Phonemic Awareness & Phonics by Telian-Cas Learning Concepts Inc
Lively Letters is an exciting new app developed to teach letter sounds. This app goes beyond traditional drill and practice, by actually teaching letter recognition using memory skills, hand and mouth cues, and songs associated with each letter.
Letters are taught through the use of colorful alphabet letters which have been individually embedded with memorable characters. There are three activities to choose from Flashing, Tracking, and Matching. In the flashing activity, a thorough explanation of how to produce each letter is provided, along with an associated hand/mouth cue, and a matching song for the letter. Each letter is represented by a character, and the story behind each letter provides visual memory cues to help remember the letter name. There is also a letter tracing task! In the flashing task, up to 10 consonants and vowels may be selected to work with. Students investigate letters to create both real and nonsense words. There is a letter tracing feature here also, along with space to draw a picture of a created word. In the matching task, students tap letters to make matches, while practicing producing the sounds they make.
The app tracks progress and allows for customization in choosing the type of letters to use (character letters vs plain letters), and background theme. A recording feature is provided so that the child can practice saying sounds and words. This app is a stand-alone companion to the Lively Letters program.
What a great little jewel to teach foundational sound-symbol association skills. Plus, you can connect your Bluebee Pal for extra fun during the sing-a-longs and sound production practice!
The Adventures of the Three Little Pigs by Irene Deev
My students love storybooks, and this one is a new favorite. This is the traditional tale of the little piggies’ encounters with the big ‘ole bad wolf, told with a modern twist. The story is interactive and, of course, has a happy ending. There are random interactive questions during the story that my students like to watch for. It is a winner when Bluebee reads to my kids!
Tiggly Chef Addition: Preschool Math Cooking Game by Tiggly
In our classroom, we love Tiggly! Learn early addition facts while you assist the Chef in following directions and counting out ingredients to create clever, outlandish dishes! Features 3 different kitchens with math skills progressing in difficulty. This app is lots of fun for learning beginning addition skills! This app can be used with or without the Tiggly Learning System manipulatives for iPad. My kids get s kick out of it!
Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™ by Fisher-Price
Computers are here to stay, and it is a great idea to start kids out learning the basic concepts of coding. In this app, children use thinking, problem solving, memory and math skills to help Code-a-pillar follow a path to navigate obstacles and complete a maze. The difficulty of play increases as you master each maze. Engaging, child-friendly graphics and great directions during gameplay make this a winner!
SideChef makes cooking accessible, easy and fun at any skill level by providing the user with step-by-step photos, instructions, and voice commands. This free app includes over 3500 step by step recipes and a homepage that changes daily with helpful tips. Each recipe has an integrated timer and allows for hands-free cooking with the timer and audio feature. Once you create a user, you can save your favorite recipes or even share a recipe collection of your own. The app gives the user the ability to search and browse by one single ingredient, keyword, diet, cuisine or interest. Once you set up an account, you can upload and share your own recipes! Sidechef can also adjust the serving size and the ingredients will convert automatically.
Although this app was created for a home cook that wants a hands-free experience off their device when cooking, it can be ideal to use with children with special needs. For those individuals who struggle with reading and want to actively participate in cooking, this app allows you to listen to the directions and read the instructions at the same time. This helps build literacy skills and improves an individual’s ability to follow directions and improve sequencing. It will also help expand vocabulary and improve recall by reviewing the steps at the end of the recipe.
Bluebee Pal loves to cook! SideChef is a perfect cooking companion app for this plush tool!
- Connect your Bluebee Pal to your device.
- Bluebee Pal will automatically give you the step by step instructions for choosing the recipe of your choice. Bluebee Pal will also keep you focused on providing the audio cue of a timer so you can proceed to the next step.
- Don’t want to hear the computerized voice? Record your own voice in your recipes! This app can be endless fun with Bluebee Pal by either choosing from the thousands of recipes that are included with the app or creating your own with Bluebee Pal! What recipe will you choose? Will it be a sweet dessert like meringues or a savory and healthy snack like Peri Peri Oven-Baked Carrot Fries?
Bierman ABA Autism Center is an innovative provider of personalized and intensive services for children with Autism in the areas of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech & Language, Occupational and Physical therapies. The center’s multiple locations include Boston, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Rhode Island. Founded by, Courtney Bierman in 2006, Bierman ABA is focused on staying true to their mission of being “the best provider of early intensive behavioral intervention in a center-based setting for children with autism.” Bierman ABA provides services to children up to 13 years of age with programs designed to help children learn skills across all areas of development for success in all settings.
How do they provide all of this? By caring deeply about the employee culture of their 180+ therapists and staff.
Bierman employees are guided to work with Passion, be a Team Player, be Motivated, be Principled, be Curious and have Fun! The staff’s ongoing training and evaluations with use of their Skills Development System (SDS), team of Behavior Analysist designing clinical programs, focus on naturalistic teaching and school readiness make it clear to see why Bierman ABA has received numerous awards and accolades. Bierman ABA’s is a wildly successful model for how to create a setting where employees are inspired to make a lasting impact and help transform the lives of children with Autism.
Kayle Concepts finds the mission of Bierman ABA inspiring and quite similar to our mission to provide an educational tool that can help children with special needs reach their highest potential. We donated Bluebee Pals via the Bluebee Pal Project to all of the Indianapolis and Boston centers and the outcome is better than we could have ever imagined!
Bluebee Pals were used daily during by Behavior Technicians and Analysts at the Bierman Centers. Speech-language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists at the centers also used the Bluebee Pals to engage children during 1:1 therapy.
The goals targeted were endless including:
- Group and Joint Attention
- Gross Motor Skills
- Expressive and Receptive Language
- Expanding Preferences
- Increasing Tolerance of Non-Preferred Activities
- Expanding Social Settings
Bluebee Pal helped the children engage by reading books, playing music, helping them “eat” during feeding therapy, and even DJ-ing at dance parties!
Best of all are the positive effects Bluebee Pal has provided for so many of the children at the center.
- Increased Attention During Group Activities
- Increased Tolerance of Peer Activities
- Increased Duration of Engagement with Non-Preferred Tasks
- Increased Attention to Communication Partner Instead of Electronic Item
- Increased Participation in Feeding Therapy
We can’t thank the therapists and support staff at Bierman ABA Autism Center for inspiring us in our quest to help make education and therapy interactive and fun!
Tips for Parents: Bluebee Teacher Ambassador Helen Wagner
I often use our classroom Bluebee Pals during therapy to work on reading, talking and playing skills! My students really relate to their Bluebee therapy friends, and look forward to learning with them!
Teaching and learning begin at home. Parents are the first and most important teachers in the early, developmental years. Young children learn essential, foundational speech, receptive and expressive language, social, pre-reading, cognitive, numeracy and communication skills necessary for future academic success through meaningful play and lots of language-rich learning opportunities
Read, Read, Read!
Read to your child daily. Reading helps develop vocabulary, attending, sentence construction, grammar, pronoun usage, social-skills, turn-taking, imagination, creativity, sequential thought, emotions, wh-questions, comprehension, receptive/expressive language skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and so much more! Reading daily to young children is one of the most language rich and meaningful learning opportunities that parents can give their children. Parents provide many natural educational interactions while reading, talking about the subject matter and elements of the story, questioning about the story, and practicing story retelling.
Talk, Talk, Talk!
Parents need to talk to their children! Talking and commenting on the world around them is a great, natural way to teach children. Examples: In the grocery store: “How many yellow fruits do you see? How many green vegetables? Let’s buy three red apples”. In the car: “Let’s see how many blue cars we can count” or “How many things can people ride in to go somewhere”? “Let’s look for things that are orange”. “Can you find a stop sign? What colors are in a traffic light”? At home during interactive play: “Oh, wow, I see that you are racing your red car and your blue car. Which one do you think will go faster”? Simple commenting and talking about what you and your child are doing and seeing and asking questions is a powerful educational tool. Commenting on the world around them will build and reinforce basic concepts, numeracy, turn-taking, pragmatic skills, receptive and expressive language, critical thinking and reasoning skills, problem solving, grammar, and more.
Play, Play, Play!
Play with your children! Lots and lots of learning takes place during play! Play dolls, play trucks, play games, play marbles, play pretend! Provide opportunities for you preschoolers to interact with peers! Beginning games such as Candy Land, Spot It, Pop the Pig, I Spy, Zingo and more are great for practicing social skills, turn-taking, sharing, numbers, colors, matching and categorization skills. Playing and learning through songs and finger-plays such as “Itty Bitty Spider, 5 Little Ducks, etc, is a great way to teach rhyming, sequencing, memory and basic concept skills. Learning through play provides powerful opportunities for cognitive growth.
Bluebee is going to school this year and has no first day jitters. She knows Mommy will be there to pick her up afterward and is prepared to have a great year! She has a jump start on learning by using some of these great recommended apps to assist with her new classes.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Shapes and Colors by StoryToys is a gentle, enchanting, and elegant app. Continuing with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the main character, StoryToys has now increased the demands of play and expectations on little learners, while keeping the awe and wonder of discovery as they have with the other apps in the series. The artwork is outstanding, and something that StoryToys excels at producing. It is rich and delicious, but not so busy that kids go on visual overload and can’t complete the given task.
Shape Gurus – teach shapes for my preschooler by Colto is a wildly creative app that teaches little ones about shapes. Bluebee not only boosts a child’s ability and confidence, he also reinforces both qualities of color and shape on each page through labeling. There are over 25 puzzles, many which are linked in theme or variation of context. This app is a sure-fire winner
Intro to Colors by Montessorium is based on the Montessori colored tablets and scaffolds the beautiful world of color over 3 different play areas. Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, Color Shades, and Gradients teach recognition of colors. The “Paint” portion allows for open experimentation for learning color sense. And lastly is “Color Search” where a child can apply his/her newly learned knowledge. This app is clean and elegant in its presentation and uses guided activities to achieve mastery.
Color Alive either App 1 or 2 by Crayola are fabulous. Specific coloring books can be used by either purchasing them through IAPs where the pages can be printed or purchased anywhere Crayola products are sold. The magic comes alive when the colored pages are scanned into the app. An Augmented Reality character arises from the pages like magic! It’s truly awesome, and a big hit with kids. Although Bluebee, doesn’t have much to say, he is there to provide support for the shared experience!
Dr. Panda Racers is a hands-down favorite, and while it is not a “handwriting” app per say, it is an excellent app to introduce a stylus, as kids mark to a pathway using both predetermined lines and following a track. There is plenty of creativity involved too – with designing your own car.
This list would be remiss without Binary Lab’s Dexteria Jr. – Fine Motor Skill Development. This sweet little app truly facilitates fine motor skills in that it involves exercises for visual targeting, pinching, and their trademark “Trace & Erase” practice to ready little hands for upcoming writing skills. Created by OTs, this app works on the developmental progression of the hand as well as beginning tool use.
DragonboxNumbers by WeWantToKnow AS is a comprehensive early learning app to teach 1:1 correspondence through a hands-on experience within the app. There are 4 sections for play that reinforce what numbers are and how they are used to help place order in our everyday lives. The app is populated with “nooms” – animated characters that are proportional to their value. Each activity increases in its complexity and will grow with your child. Bottom line? It’s FUN!
Avokiddo Apps are all excellent and help teach kids to think – something that isn’t always encouraged in this day of teaching to predetermined test standards. The Thinkroll Series (1, 2, AND 3) introduces different properties of objects that double as obstacles or aids – edible crackers, balloons that pop, fans, fire and ice, and yes even black holes – The goal is to navigate your Thinkroll through a maze using all materials presented at that particular level. By doing so, you earn the right to not only more complex levels that are built on prior dilemmas but also receive additional characters to play the game. This is a game for the whole family and it’s addictively fun. You’ll never be able to play just one Thinkroll game.
Finding the right app for your special needs child can be a challenge. Below are some of our favorites at The iMums by category which can help target skills for your child.
Reading Train Endless Books, Songs & Games – School Readers by The Learning Station is a digital library of over 200+ picture books kids can read and record created by Libby Curran, educator and author of award winning books. The Reading Train is a great concept for children from the get go. Once you have setup your child’s user account, they can get onboard the reading train and start learning! There is a large collection of reading books to choose from, some covering colours, animals, life science, shapes, maths etc all categorised and covered at three different reading levels. Read our full review
Read with Phonzy by MeowTek is a free universal app for iOS which features speech recognition to understand how well kids pronounced words using a character named Phonzy who provides prompts on the words. The app requires that you opt in via email to use it and understand the terms and conditions. It utilizes speech technology which recognizes and assesses the specific word that you are focusing on in the sentence. It works best with children and does work well in a noisy environment like a busy home or a place where there is background noise. As children pronounce words correctly, they can unlock the word which is then put into a gallery. It also helps kids build confidence in reading (especially sight words) and improves skills of sentence building and thinking quickly. We tested the app in a variety of environments including with a television on in the background, at a local park and in a classroom with other children. Each time Phonzy was able to zero in and understand the words being spoken without picking up the ambient noise. Read the full review or download here
Read – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio is a universal app for iOS targeting kids aged four through 8 (or second grade) which helps them to acquire core reading skills including letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening and more. The narration can be done in a United States narrator, English narrator, Australian narrator or Indian narrator. You can also speed up or slow down the words per minute and pitch of the speaker as well as turn on and off the background music. The app uses phonics teaching sight words in combination with word decoding. It also includes multi user capabilities and lesson progress. The app features twenty different lessons with over 100 different exercises and interactive stories. It is designed for the beginning reader through approximately second grade. Read the full review or download here.
Sound Salad by Funny Yummy Studios is an auditory perception app that requires players to match sounds to the correct object. Funny Yummy Studios is also the developer of the addictive “Catch the Wally” where you play hide ‘n seek with a spider in a brick wall and Funny Yummy, a delightful interactive story book for younger children. As with their other apps, Sound Salad has high-quality mixed-media graphics and animations which are unique and quirky. Read the full review or download here
Total Talk is an excellent iPad only AAC app designed for easy and efficient communication by nonverbal users. The app was developed by Ellenson Integration Enterprises, Inc. A quick start guide makes it easy to begin using the app and the complete user manual provides a more thorough overview of the app.
The home page is organized with a message output area at the top, a dock or menu on the left side of the screen and the main grid with word buttons and folders (default is 6×6). The main grid gives access to several commonly used words (yes/no, I, you, want) and folders which are organized by category (i.e. people, verbs, activities, places, things, questions). Any words selected will appear in the message output box and can be verbalized by pressing on the box or the “speak” button in the dock. Read the full review or download here.
Avokiddo Emotions by Avokiddo is a delightfully interactive universal app for iOS featuring a giraffe, zebra and a shy and sleepy sheep. The app allows you to select one of the animals and explore the “cause and effect” of hats, objects, foods and even backgrounds to see what they like and do not like. Avokiddo was founded in 2013 as a spin-off of react-IN and previously released an iMum favorite, Beck and Bo in 2012. The app targets children aged 2 to 8 with a variety of activities that include dressing the animals, feeding them a variety of foods which drop from the sky as well as musical instruments, and a variety of other objects. Children simply choose an animal, and then when they are done with the objects on the screen, pull down a handle and then a variety of new objects fall from the sky. . To test an object with the animal, you must simply touch it and then it will perform an action, sometimes the object will stop the action when it is released like the bubbles, and other times the object like the radio will continue to play. This app is a great one for practicing speech, mimicking of specific patterns like blowing a bubble or breathing through a snorkel as well as looking at how the animal feels about the choices you have made for them and creative free play. Read our full review or download here.
Problem Solving Apps
Thinkrolls 2 is the sequel to the popular physics puzzler for young children Thinkrolls from Greek app developer Avokiddo. It is a combination of a ball-rolling platform game, maze and physics puzzler. The player needs to navigate increasingly complex mazes, past a variety of obstacles. Thinkrolls 2 adds 235 new levels divided between Easy and Hard modes, and introduces new concepts including buoyancy and electricity. Thinkrolls 2 continues where the original left off with the same engaging gameplay and 235 new levels introducing 7 new elements using concepts such as buoyancy, electricity and gravity. It works on problem solving, memory, observation and planning ahead. Thinkrolls 2 makes physics puzzlers accessible in a fun way to children as young as 3, but has enough challenge to keep older children engaged too. Highly Recommended! Read the full review or download here.
Since 1965, the Autism Society has embraced its mission to make a better world for all with autism. Shortly after its founding, the Autism Society held an inaugural national conference to discuss the state of children with ASD in America. This meeting brought together parents of children with ASD to share resources, experiences and develop strategies to be effective advocates for their children.
The Autism Society’s annual conference represents one of the largest gatherings of autism families, service providers, educators, policymakers and key allies in the disability community. Each year, the Autism Society’s annual conference and exposition feature a keynote presentation, multiple breakout sessions, a conference exhibit hall with autism resources and networking opportunities with conference attendees from around the nation. This conference is the nation’s oldest and largest annual gathering of a variety of members from the autism community. Bluebee Pals will be represented as an educational and communication tool for parents, teachers, and therapists to utilize in the home and school settings. Many schools in the Northeast regions have already implemented Bluebee in their classrooms.
The Autism Society National Conference is an excellent opportunity to reach the broader autism community, and increase the network of vendors, professionals working in the field, individuals diagnosed with ASD and their family members. Engage face-to-face with over 1,000 attendees including some of the most influential leaders committed to improving the lives of people living with autism. Attendees attend the conference to achieve an understanding of the resources and services available that enhance the lives of individuals living with autism.
The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. They do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy.
Dr. Howard C Shane is a world-renowned pioneer in the world of Autism. He is an Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston at Waltham. Dr. Shane has been a researcher in the field of Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) for over 30 years and is the creator of dozens of computer applications to that increase communication and learning for individuals with Autism.
These include Touch ‘N Speak, Microsofts HandiWare, Starbright World and the Visual Immersion System. Dr. Shane’s many collaborations include being a Director of the Monarch Center for Autism and Model Autism Program (MAP) with Boston Public Schools.http://www.childrenshospital.org/centers-and-services/center-for-communication-enhancement-program
Bluebee Pals is taking it to the next level with Dr. Howard Shane in the coming weeks! Dr. Shane and his team are set to begin researching the effectiveness of using Bluebee Pals with children with Autism. Bluebee Pals will be used during speech-language therapy sessions at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Kayle Concepts is honored to be part of this important and innovative research focused on the use of technology to help persons with Autism reach their highest potential! Thank you, Dr. Howard C Shane for the vast body of work and dedication to those with communication impairments and for letting us be part of your journey!
Tech Terra Education presented to over 22, 000 attendees that filled the convention center for ISTE 2017 in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonia, Texas. Bluebee Pals participated in Tech Terra Education booth on the main exhibition floor, Demo Playgrounds, Poster Sessions, and the pre-conference MEGAShare.
The first Playground seemed to be the main attraction as hundreds of people waited to enter our area. Bluebee Pals drew the huge crowd right to us. These crowds came to every event and in every case, Bluebee Pals were an educational tool they wanted to see in action. The fact we offered Bluebee Giveaways were part of the huge attraction as everyone wanted to win one of these amazing tools.
People loved watching Riley, the Bluebee Zebra and enjoyed learning about the versatility of the tool. As they learned that Bluebee Pals was a true K to 12 tools for all learners, their excitement increased. They were impressed by the Bluebee apps, the Bluetooth streaming, and the potential to engage students learning languages at the high school level. Bluebee Pals was a true ISTE success
The ISTE 2017 conference was our largest of the year and one of the most successful conferences we’ve ever had. Bluebee Pals drew educators from across the world to our location. Bluebee Pals delighted people both for its look, which was so fun and for its range of educational uses. People wanted more information and we enjoyed having marketing materials to share. Teachers and administrators spent a lot of time with Bluebee Pals and related apps. They loved seeing Bluebee in action. We had well over 700 individuals scanned at our TechTerra Education booth as we shared Bluebee Pals.Bluebee Pals made our social media posts throughout the conference and were shared by all attendees.
Exhibiting at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, Texas to a highly targeted market of 15,000 education professionals. The Expo opens to attendees Monday, June 26, 2017, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. TechTerra Education is featuring Bluebee Pals at Booth # 564 a the conference.
The ISTE Conference The ISTE & Expo is recognized globally as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world. For more than three decades, educators and education leaders have gathered at the ISTE conference to engage in hands-on learning, exchange ideas and network with like-minded thinkers seeking to transform learning and teaching.The annual event attracts over 18,000 attendees and industry representatives, including teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialists, teacher educators, and policymakers. Attendees also enjoy world-class keynotes, hundreds of sessions in a variety of formats and a massive expo hall.
Susan S. Wells, an educator, innovator and pioneer in the field of mobile learning, is the founder of TechTerra Education and its Camp TechTerra, TechTerra Training, TechTerra Tools, and the TechTerra curriculum. In addition to her TechTerra Education focus, Susan serves as a Technology Strategist with groups across the country and internationally, focused on STEM, innovation, and technology in the K12 education setting. Tech Terra collaborated with Bluebee Pals providing research and curriculum for Pre-K. In addition, they are utilizing these plush tech companions as educational tools in Camp TechTerra summer camps.
Camp TechTerra, developed by veteran educator and EdTech innovator Susan offers programs for students that help them explore the natural world in makerspace communities through coding, digital storytelling, robotics, making, and digital devices. Sharing, connecting and collaborating are integral to these experiences. Using their innovative Camp TechTerra curriculum, students are taught the process of computational thinking within a tangible, hands-on environment that honors safety, choice, exploration, and fun.
Bluebee is compatible with all devices using Bluetooth technology.
- iOS, Kindle, or Android devices
- Cell Phones
- Music Streaming Devices
Bluebee inspires learning through educational apps
- Bluebee provides a safe environment in which to practice new skills.
- Bluebee also serves as a witness to a child’s accomplishments
- Gentle encouragement to persist is provided through Bluebee’s presence
Bluebee reads storybooks to a child and foster a love of reading
- Listening to stories helps facilitate memory and sequencing skills
- Reading along with Bluebee as a best friend encourages socialization
Bluebee can lead a sing-a-long through a playlist of music
- Through such apps such as Spotify or downloaded music, Bluebee can teach your child the joy of music
- Music Apps offer endless entertainment to children at home and school settings
Bluebee can play back voice recordings of a favorite book, story, or educational apps
- Spoken in the dialect understood by a child, or produced by a child to enhance reading and speech
- Spoken by a teacher or parent voice motivates and engages children to learn
Bluebees can benefit children whether they are turned on and connected to a Bluetooth device or not.
- By hugging Bluebee, children receive deep pressure and proprioceptive input to help them calm and focus
- Bluebees help reinforce and maintain self-regulation
- Bluebees calm through social stories created with pictures of a child and the voice of a parent or sibling to decrease anxiety
What we love…
fun train themed app with great sound effects that encourages role play, creative play, counting and more
What we’d love to see…
ability to back the train up, a ticket that displays the passengers destination visually, other methods to power the train or even a subway
Remove this text and add your own here.
Dr. Panda Train is here – Dr. Panda Games is back this time with a train theme! In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene.
Dr. Panda Train the app- Your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance. They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more. My son even found some great tech to give the passengers. Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by. I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them. As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!
My kids also loved loading the cargo and carrying it from station to station. While we loaded it we practiced counting or even deciding which item to load first – should we load the jelly beans or the chicken? What happens if we don’t load any cargo. I loved their responses which ranged from – “the passengers will be sad” to “will the chicken lay an egg?”
My toddler loved speeding up the train within the app or making it slower which shows cause and effect – although that concept was a bit difficult to explain. As you get to each station stop, a thought bubble pops up looking for a specific passenger or item to be loaded on the train. There is a maximum of four passengers, so if you have more, someone extra must exit the train prior to it moving. Safety first!
As a mom, I loved that there was great role playing – should we be the conductor, the passenger or the person loading the cargo. Tell me about their job. What happens if there are too many passengers, how do we decide who gets on? It was great for storytelling and having my older son describe his actions within the app. At the station, it was great to unload the cargo and then pass it along to the proper recipients like the pig who wanted the chicken.
Each time you complete a task, you earn additional items to play with in the game which made my kids want to play more and more to see what else they would earn. There are twelve different train stations throughout. My son also enjoyed dinging the bell
In terms of enhancements, it would be fun if each passenger had to submit a ticket prior to getting on the train which would get stamped with their destination, currently once they are on the train you can punch the ticket but it does not show the destination. That way, kids could prepare for which station they are getting off at.
My son also wanted to “back up” the train a few times to go back and look at scenery or to pick up something he might have missed. I would also love to see other methods for powering the train – perhaps it could be electric and run on above ground power like the T does in Boston or maybe it could run like the subway does with a third rail. My kids also thought it would be fun if each of the train stops coincided with other Dr. Panda Games like Daycare, Firefighter, Home etc.
There are no in-app purchases and there is a parental gate which requires year of birth. You can turn off a splash screen which advertises other Dr. Panda apps in the parent area as well as turn on and off music and sound. Super fun themed app that kept my toddler enthralled for hours. He kept finding little secret items and enjoyed loading and off loading the cargo. Bravo Dr. Panda – or should that be Toot Toot! Can’t wait to see what else you have planned in the future.
By Alison….( I am the girl in the blue dress)
Bluebee Pals Educational Tech Companions were a big success as an event sponsor at the SETDA Conference this weekend in San Antonio, Texas this weekend. Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership association launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations.
Bluebee Pals tech personalized tools were introduced to state educators at speed meetings of groups at 15-minute intervals. Educators were mesmerized by the diversity of the various applications Bluebee offered to teachers and parents. Demonstrators connected a variety of reading, educational and music apps and advocate how Bluebee engages children to learn.
Bluebee Pals educational plush learning tools have been implemented as an assistive technology tool in Pre-K classrooms for mainstream and special needs children. Many therapists and teachers are incorporating Bluebee Pals into their lessons plans and therapy sessions and witnessing positive results in learning.Bluebee Pals are a plush tech learning companion that connects all Apple and Android devices(phones, tablets & laptops) through Bluetooth and pair with all educational, reading and game apps. Introducing these tech companions motivates and inspires children to learn while increasing communication and social skills.
They are part of the growing trend of personalized learning providing students more opportunities to become architects of their own learning path as technology adapts to their specific needs.
SETDA’s annual Emerging Technologies Leadership Forum (ET Forum) provides a venue for SETDA’s state members and the private sector to engage in meaningful dialogue about topics of importance in digital learning across the nation. Companies showcase their innovative products and services while SETDA members, representing the state departments of education, highlight their major state initiatives and priorities. The ET Forum is attended by an average of 75 state members representing the educational technology leadership from no fewer 42 states, as well as the corporate community, represented by SETDA’s annual private sector partners and ET Forum event sponsors.
Lipa Planets: Gods of the Solar System by Lipa Learning is a universal app for iOS featuring Skipper the Space dog and his adventures through space. The app itself is free with gated IAP of $1.99 for the entire book. It is designed for preschool through early elementary school aged children and features a variety of languages for the narration. For purposes of this review,
I tested Lipa Planets: Gods of the Solar System with Hudson Puppy of Bluebee Pals and with my toddler son. There are three modes: autoplay where the book will read itself through; listen and play where the book will be read but your child can touch the screen; read and play where the child can independently read and do the different activities on the screen. The app has parental gates which involve touching a picture to access things like language, the Lipa Learning Portal, music and sound as well as a portal for parents about the app. This app specifically targets: science, language, exploration and experimenting and is geared toward “ready for school” or preschool aged children under the age of 5.
The app is bright and interactive which engages children. It is in a storybook like format where you can tap the individual pages for animations as well as moving forward and backward within the story. The animations are engaging and helped keep my son interested in the story. Each language is done by a different narrator voice, which I enjoyed because it helped to switch up the variety especially once my son had heard the story a few times. We liked the cause and effect of touching items like the photograph of Skipper’s grandmother, blasting off the space ship, a visual spinning of the earth. The app itself doesn’t explain that the planets are not actually alive or that it is based upon Greek Mythology, although the planets introduce themselves as that like, Mercury, Messenger of the Roman Gods. Each page when in the read to me mode, has a circle that allows for the text to be read again. The app itself is free with gated IAP of $1.99 for the entire book and once you get beyond the free pages, you are prompted to get a parent to purchase the entire app via the app store. There is a parental gate which does not allow your child to access the app store directly.
Having Hudson Puppy read the app and hold our iPad made it more fun for my toddler while he was interacting with the app. My son loved that when we changed the language, Hudson would speak using a different narration voice – and kept saying “do it again Mama!” as we switched between American English, British English and Spanish. I explained to him that we were listening to the same story, just in a different language with the same photos and the words on the page were the same just in a different language. This is a great way to expose kids to multiple languages especially once they become more familiar with a story.
In terms of enhancements, especially given the young targeted age I would like to see word highlighting. For the mini game where Skipper races against Mercury it would be fun if you could pilot the ships as they cross the page.
Overall, this is a fun space themed app which encourages kids to play along while they are learning. Having Hudson Puppy from Bluebee Pals read the story along made it more fun and interactive for my son since he liked cuddling with Hudson while touching the various parts of the app. I also liked that I was able to expand his languages once he became more familiar with the app to touch the various parts of the story despite the language change.
By Alison from The Imums…I am the girl in the blue dress..