Duckie Deck Development has come out with a trio of self-care apps for teaching little ones daily routines and sequences. They demystify the sometimes arduous tasks of nail clipping, brushing teeth, and potty training by making play out of these events. This helps kids desensitize by learning what to expect, and thereby lets them remain in control of their bodies. Being in Early Intervention, these tasks are usually big concerns for parents, and sometimes near impossible to perform. Duckie Deck introduces each topic from a kid’s point of view and allows them to act out and learn the sequence. Each app is short and to the point, but most importantly fun!
First up, nail clipping with Duckie Deck Hungry Clipper! In the app, kids get to trim the nails of a variety of characters including animals, pirates, and even a dragon! I love the subtle hints of good hygiene that goes along with nail care – washing your hands and making sure they are clean, and attending to any cuts or scrapes. The animated nail clipper leads the way and lets you know when he’s ready. Honestly, he is laugh out loud funny after he gets a tasty nail or two. Once the app is played, I would encourage parents to play nail salon on toys with the family nail clippers, and then segue to trying a nail or two at first. You know, there are no rules that all nails need to be clipped at once.
Who hasn’t as a parent, begged, pleaded or bribed their toddler in hopes of getting their teeth brushed? On opening Duckie Deck With Teeth, you meet “the mouth” and then choose how many teeth and what their shapes will be to fill out that mouth. A word of warning here: to go easy on the number of teeth as a lot of teeth means a lot of brushing. Next, in the brushing sequence…comes the food, and boy is that mouth hungry! But by eating all those tasty treats, her teeth are building up plaque. Luckily there is a toothbrush nearby, and by brushing, the teeth are cleaned. The animations and sound imply that great feeling of having your teeth cleaned. This is also something that you can practice with toys, complete with sound effects…”Ahhhh, my mouth is minty fresh!
And lastly, the hardest, potty training and what it feels like to need to go. In Duckie Deck Gotta Go, a little monster is presented and upon tapping, off comes the diaper and he’s on the potty. Once on the potty, kids can feed him all sorts of food…until he feels an urge. Although this is currently out of sequence, the developers have promised to change the sequence in a future update to the monster eating and feeling an urge before sitting on the potty. The animations and sound effects are true to life and you then help the little monster go by pressing his tummy. Being from a kid’s point of view and experience, the little monster then stands to be wiped and then -the flush. There is a maze for the deposit to go through before leaving the screen. I really love the thought that went behind this app as for most kids…the act of going potty is a lot like performance art and something to be appreciated rather than to be just flushed away. At least kids can feel assured that the little deposit goes off on a journey and is not entirely forgotten or acknowledged.
As educators, we not only teach children but also help teach parents and families so that their lives can be more manageable. In Early Intervention, that is the focus. This, in turn, helps support our students to become capable and competent human beings. Apps that help teach kids’ basic life skills can ease those difficult transitions, and Duckie Deck is leading the way with a “Quack, Quack, Quack”.
About the Author
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.