Closing the Gap: December 2019/January 2020-Toy Reviews

As educators, we understand how important play is to learn­ing. Here again Is a collection of toys that have been selected because of their particular focus on language, communication, literacy, science and math, reasoning and thinking and creative play. Included are traditional (no screen) toys. battery run toys, smart toys with apps and toys that expand the use of the iPad or Android tablet in new ways since all these kinds of play are now important to children’s playing and learning.



Designed by Laura Jiencke, president of Kayle Concepts, Bluebee Pals are a collection of six plush, cuddly stuffed animals (lion, lamb, bear, zebra, puppy and monkey} that are also Bluetooth speakers that work with any Bluetooth enabled de­vice and with all apps that have voice output. After pairing with the phone, tablet, or laptop, Bluebee’s mouth and head move while it is “speaking” the words of the app. It can ask questions, reward successes, sing, read books aloud, and so much more. Bluebee Pals can also answer the phone -press the answer/end call but­ton in the left ear. With head and mouth moving, the animal appears to be talking in the caller’s voice. You can also use Voice Memos or Voice Recorder apps to have Bluebee speak a mes­sage- the day’s class schedule, a birthday message, etc. Take a video of a Bluebee Pal speaking a greeting or message and email it to a friend.

The free Bluebee Pals Learning App contains some interactive teaming activities and suggested fun activities with Bluebee, along with links to the website with app reviews for parents, teachers, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Music Therapists. The website also has tutorial videos, PDFs, resources, and printable worksheets. Fun toy with endless applica­tions! Apps Bluebee Pals

Bluebee Pals has a Special Needs Donation Program. Kayle Concepts donates Bluebee Pals to schools and organizations across the country for use in classroom and therapy sessions. They want to make Bluebee Pals available to all to help encourage communication, language use, attention, sensory processing, and positive behaviors. If you would like to participate in The Bluebee Pal Project, send an email to Thanks, Bluebee Pals and Kayle Concepts, for these generous donations and your commitment to children with Special Needs!



Joan Tanenhaus, M.A., CCC, Speech Language Pathologist/Assistive Technology Specialist, is Founder and Executive Director of Technology for Language and Learning, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the use of computers and technology with children and
adults with Special Needs




Pin It on Pinterest