Key Word Kids, by Language and Learning Steps, offers practicing developmental language skills in the areas of receptive vocabulary, listening, comprehension and following directions. I love the fun engaging animated graphics and the catchy theme song for the app.
Beginning with a level check for identifying receptive nouns and verbs the user will then move onto comprehension activities. This app should be used with adult support (parent, teacher, therapist) in order to encourage and foster language development. The leveled comprehension activities range from 2 key elements up to 5 key elements. (e.g. put the ball in the bowl or make Steffy get the leaves and feed them to the giraffe by the tree).
The Expression area has five scene areas for opportunities to create stories and use expressive language. It is here that the user can create a scene and record a sentence or two about it or the adult can model a sentence for a user and then the user can imitate it.
Key Word Kids has many options for play and it won’t easily be outgrown. There are mini games offered as rewards and for motivation that can be set to play after 5, 15, or 25 trials. This option can also be set to OFF. Correct and incorrect answers are displayed after each activity. Setting options allow for voice only, voice and text or text only. The text and voice output is in UK English (e.g. mum for mom). Key Word Kids just got an update on the 13th January, so now with a Parentgate you can email the comprehension and level check results back to yourself and to whomever else you choose. There is also a connection to their website from the app, so that parents and teachers can find out more background and see more in the way of reviews.
Overall I find this app to be quite useful in a therapy setting with young children working on receptive and expressive language. For the current price, I would love to see the option to use with multiple students, save scores and change the voice output for American English.
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.