123 Kids Fun Autumn Designer by RosMedia celebrates both creativity and the ability to perceive the beauty of fall objects. It is gorgeous, elegant, and richly illustrates the season’s bounty. This app also lends itself to expanding play both on screen and off screen, and can be used in a variety of subjects - i.e. math, science, spelling, etc. depending on how you present the art, i.e. Going on a nature hunt and finding acorns, you can compare and contrast them with the illustrations, learn to count the ones you’ve found the place that amount in your picture, learn to write “ACORN”, or simply make a collage from objects off screen using an on screen design. Open ended apps such as Autumn Designer, ensure success by allowing for experimentation, and that promotes new ways to look at the use of common objects. Simply put, it keeps kids from thinking in only a linear fashion because their world and its connections have the possibility of getting bigger.
Different modes of play will help even the most reluctant artist get up and going in minutes, or give a wide open field for kids eager to go at it. On opening, choose between making a book, a single page design or create a collage from a model. In the free design or the scrapbook portion, open a category box and then select one of its treasures by dragging the piece onto the paper. There are a lot of features to play with, and over 300 pictures to choose from in those boxes! Students can resize, reorient, move an object to the foreground or background, or lock them in place so that they can add more to their picture at a later date. There is even a section to snap a photo and place an outlined picture of your face in the final product. Some kids may need initial instruction to how to use the buttons, but they do quickly master them in minutes. The book feature allows for kids to make a story from a set of papers bound in a scrapbook. As typing and drawing are included, this would be a nice place for future naturalists to begin a science journal. Through play, kids learn about natural structures and the uses of things in their world. And this helps to set the ground for mindfulness of using the earth’s resources.
For students that have difficulty getting started or shy away from creative endeavors, there is a puzzle page to learn the possibilities of how objects can be used to make a cohesive whole. By providing the structure or scaffolding the challenge, students learn about construction and how to go about making something…and most importantly, how to start something. Images can be shared via a scrapbook and then can be inspected closer, have text added, emailed or deleted. (I love the shredder icon for delete.) There are IAPs to receive a more extensive library of images, but the app is well worth it and one that will continue to grow as a resource for parents and teachers.
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.