Speak Eazy Apps has created a fun app called Feed Maxi featuring an interactive monkey to help teach food vocabulary and following simple directions. Cute animations and encouraging comments keep the students engaged.
Maxi requests the food item that he would like using speech and simple sign language gestures (ASL). Three levels are offered with this app; Easy (field of 1), Moderate (field of 2) and Difficult (field of 3). After eight opportunities of feeding Maxi, a balloon popping reward page appears. This reward page reinforces what the child has learned by verbally identifying each item as the balloons are popped.
The OPTIONS button allows for creating a user account for up to five children. There are five food categories (fruit, grains-misc, protein, vegetables and snacks) that can be customized within the settings option. Progress tracking data is collected for each session.
Feed Maxi is an excellent app for using with students who are working on their expressive and receptive language skills. The app offers a slow even pace to support those that need the extra processing time. The simple ASL gestures are a hit with the kids. The encouraging comments and at times even a ‘high five’ opportunity to interact with Maxi will have the kids smiling. Over 80 different foods are depicted using beautiful realistic photos.
Recommendations/suggestions for future updates are to provide a colored field (perhaps white) behind the food items displayed allowing for easier viewing. Also, a home button on the play screen that takes you back to the home screen would be helpful to allow for ease of adjusting the food items/categories or changing the user without having to close out the app and start over.
About the Author
Jackie Bryla is a school based SLPA in California. Her experience includes working with transitional kindergarten through high school age students as well as the functional skills population in the public schools. She regularly presents iPad Trainings for California State University Sacramento, American River College and San Joaquin Delta College speech and language programs. Jackie is also founder of act – Apps, Consulting and Training. She is an app beta tester for educational app developers. Jackie is a board member for the California Speech Language Hearing Association (CSHA) and is an active CSHA District 2 Advisory Committee member in the Sacramento area. Jackie received the outstanding SLPA for CSHA in 2012.