There are many iDevice apps out there to develop fine motor skills for children. Drawing and music apps that can encourage fine motor development are readily available. Access to some apps on iDevices can require specific, new skills for some students. Although I find the iPad and iPod Touch to be very intuitive to most students, it requires a number of different skills to access and operate them. Touching/pointing, holding while touching and pointing, pinching, accuracy with touching/pointing and sliding in all directions are all different skills needed when interacting on the iDevices.
Listed below are few apps that provide specific practice of skills required to access the iDevice or apps as well others that support fine motor skill development. Certainly the type of instruction and the requirements of the app can facilitate what skills you might be targeting (finger isolation, waiting, timed, accurate touch), so knowledge of the app is important before you target its use with a student. This is a bonus I believe allowing you the opportunity to work (play) on the iDevices too! Here are some that I have found:
Touch Trainer (Lite is free) – Provides a structured method of training touching on the iPod/iPad for learners. The app provides different steps with options to change number of successful touches for mastery as well as the reinforcer length for a student.
While the lite version only has 1 level, the full version has 7 levels to assist with developing the touch skills for students who need more practice with developing those touch skills. Available for iPod and iPad this is worth trialing for beginning iDevice users with a very clean presentation.
Touch Tutorial (4.99)- Developed by the makers of Touch Trainer, Touch Tutorial provides specific trials in touching, tapping, swiping and pinching or zoom and stretching objects on the iDevice screen. Made for iPod and iPad, it seems a bit pricey but if you need specific training in developing the skills needed to operate these devices this app provides visually clean and clear training.
Fun Bubbles Lite (Free) – This is one of a gazillion available bubble apps. I like Fun Bubbles Lite as it provides a couple of different ways to make and bubbles which can develop skills of using an iDevice at the same time. Tap the screen and you make and bubble, tap the bubble accurately and you pop it! Touch and hold and you can make a bubble grow largers, but don’t hold too long or it will pop. Hold and drag or slide and you make a line of bubbles which you also can pop one by one accurately to get rid of them. It has a simple interface. The Lite version provides some ads on it. Upgrading to the full version costs $.99 .
Pocket Pond (Free) – Previously mentioned in the previous review of sensory apps, is one of my all time favorites as well as our teacher and students favorite. Pocket Pond also provides an interactive method of tapping and sliding to add fish or food, make the fish move. My coworker Gail also uses it for working on eye-hand coordination and timing skills with students (and they don’t even know it!). Pocket pond not only has calming effects but provides fine motor skill development as well. Available for iPod and iPad.
The Wheels on the Bus ($.99) – Is an interactive book that provides the music to the familiar kids song and interactive opportunities with wheels, wipers and other objects on this slightly different version of Wheels on the Bus. It is a very busy app visually but provides opportunities to poke (tap), slide in a variety of ways to interact with this book. Created by Duck, Duck Moose, there are a variety of other familiar titles of books (Old Mac Donald, The Itsy, Bitsy Spider, e.g.) to choose from. Available for iPod and iPad this is worth checking out.
Wipe and Learn ($.99) – Is a nice simple app that provides a picture you erase by swiping to reveal a flash cards of common objects. Easy to use, this works on swiping, attention to the screen, eye hand coordination and vocabulary. Available for iPod and iPad.
Peekaboo Barn Lite (Free) – Based on an Old Mac Donald theme this app provides a simple format of a barn you must tap to reveal different farm animals. A simple but inviting app for young learners, the lite version gives you an opportunity to check it out prior to purchase or follow the link above for a video preview of the full version for $1.99 app. Available for iPad and iPod.
MeMoves ($2.99) – This is a very different app that focuses on the development of fine motor, calming and focused attention. Developed from the Me Moves DVD, this app provides skilled training at different levels for vision, eye hand coordination and relaxation. Targeted for special needs aged 3 -103 years, this app provides finger puzzles you perform to music and rhythm on the screen. Check out the developers theory, experience and a video to review at the link above. Well worth exploring.
What are your favorite fine motor apps? Please share!
Carol, an OT with Apps