Top Speech & Language Apps for School-Aged Children

Articulate Scenes – $29.99

Trouble saying specific sounds? Articulate Scenes really has it all and in our opinion, is perfect to start generalizing correct production of all sounds in the English language. Throughout the 72 scenes, the overall theme is cinema and movies. Each scene has 4 activities – finding hidden items, tapping and saying it, a movie theater activity where you can hear target words in a story, and the production room where you can create your own story with specific sounds. There is one scene for each sound in each position and additional scenes for the /r/ sound since children often have difficulty with this sound. There are also data tracking and reward activity capabilities.

Rainbow Sentences – $7.99

In 2012 Rainbow Sentences was voted the best language development app! It not only aids children in creating grammatically correct sentences, but also does so by color-coding nouns, verbs, and prepositions. This helps children visualize how sentences come together, which is especially great for visual learners! If your child is not a reader yet, the words can be spoken as they are dragged. There are 6 levels of sentence complexity and 168 images in total. Pictograph lessons are also included to help children understand correct sentence construction. You can record, save, and email sentences. Your child can earn puzzle pieces as they produce sentences, which can be very motivating since the puzzle comes to life upon completion!

Syntax City – $14.99

If your child has difficulty with word order, plurals, subject verb agreement, and verb tense, we recommend Syntax City! It was a finalist for Best Elementary Student app award. It has different parts of a town that focus on specific skills: gym (do/does), beach (third person singular agreement), bakery (was/were), ski resort (he/she), farm (past tense verb agreement), grocery (has/have), park (is/are), and zoo (regular and irregular plurals). We find the animations to be highly motivating for the children we work with!

Describe it – $9.99

Using a game show theme, this app mainly targets semantics. Each image is designed to give your child a deeper understanding of everyday items by asking 6 questions. This includes category, function, parts, location, visuals, and extras. Your child is asked questions such as “What category is it in?”, “What can I see?”, etc. The app is customizable with data collection and can also have multiple users. There are 160 images in all.

Conversation Builder – $19.99

This is an award-winning app that teaches children how to maintain a conversation for multiple turns, which is a crucial skill that they use in all social settings. The child is presented with a scene and given options on how to initiate the conversation. They then choose an option and are told if it is correct or incorrect. If it is correct they record their half of the conversation and the app responds. After multiple turns your child can play back the conversation. This helps them learn the pattern of conversation and allows them to understand when it is appropriate to introduce themselves (and provide personal information), ask questions, make comments, and transition to another topic. There are 160 conversations to choose from, which can be saved and emailed!

Story Builder – $7.99

If your child needs help with producing narratives, paragraph formation, integrating ideas, and improving higher level inferencing; this is the app for you! Your child is presented with a scene and audio clips of questions. Their answers can be recorded and in the end the whole narrative can be played back. The questions can be faded away so that children can produce narratives independently. There are 3 levels to choose from and 50 stories to create. They can also be saved and emailed.

Tense Builder – $9.99

Your child begins to understand past, present, and future fairly early on and if they need an extra push with using the appropriate tense, this is the app for them! Children can learn to identify and use the correct tense forms by watching awesome animated videos to show past, present, and future. They can drag the correct written form to complete the sentences. There is also big focus on irregular past tense verbs. In total there are 48 videos, which will soon expand to 58. To promote carryover, children can once again record their own voice and play it back. In the end, these skills will help children sequence personal events and stories.

Question Builder – $5.99

This app is perfect to practice answering abstract questions and creating responses based on inferences. Like the apps mentioned above, audio clip reinforcement can be used. Format includes why, what, where, how and random questions. Altogether there are 1200 opportunities. There are even 60 encouragement animations and audio clips. You can track your child’s progress as well.

Pictello – $18.99

Does your child have difficulty recalling events? If so, try Pictello – an innovative way to improve your child’s narrative skills and recollection of past events. You can essentially create talking books about your weekend, a vacation, class trip, etc. to help your child remember what happened first, next, and last. You can even use it to make visual schedules for chores or daily tasks (e.g. – brushing your teeth). It is easy to use and does not require reading skills. The app also features text-to-speech capabilities. You can share your child’s stories with teachers, family members, and friends – great way to make memories come alive!

Toontastic – FREE

Toontastic is one of the Top 10 iPad Apps according to the NY Times. We love this app simply because it encourages creativity! If your child is a cartoon lover, what better way to practice storytelling skills than creating their own cartoon. Your child can use the toy camera to take and import photo backgrounds and add his or her own face to the characters. They can even draw their own animated characters with animated effects using ProtoToys. The Special FX features allow them to add tornados, rainstorms, and much much more! All Access Pass allows your child to choose from 50 playsets such as pirates or princesses. You can choose your own characters, record your voice, and share it with friends and family on ToonTube!