Everyday Grooves app for iPhone and iPad is a free app from the Fred Rogers Center at St Vincent College. The app provides musical prompts that help to establish routines and structure in the everyday lives of parents and young children for daily events such as reading, brushing teeth, and getting dressed.
Using Everyday Grooves is simple – the app helps users set up musical prompts throughout the day to help children transition to new activities. When the music starts, turn the volume up so your child can hear and sing along. Or, just play the songs when it is convenient for you!
Each piece is an original song in the style of popular music on the radio, and lyrically walks families through suggested steps for the routine. There are 12 routines with a different song for each self care activity:
Brush Your Teeth!
Get Ready, Let’s Go
The songs tempo are appropriate for the task such as the Let’s Rest (bed time prompt) providing a calm, sweet song. The songs appear to be professional quality. The app does not provide customization other than setting times or alarms to the 12 self-care activities.
A fellow OT works with a student, who after trialing many, many approaches, found his best receptive abilities were achieved by singing to him. Singing gained his attention, improved transitions and receptive language (sound familiar?- yes we have all had students we sang to in a therapy room!). I thought of her and the student immediately after working with this app which communicates in his best receptive mode! Teaching to their strengths is one of those things we preach, but sometimes we still can miss application! I am anxious to share Everyday Groove app with her to trial when school starts!
Although this app is not customizable other than scheduled alarm times, it provided me a model to think differently about creating social stories or visual communication using voice out put – whether speaking or singing! Using story telling apps such as Tapikeo, Pictello, Story Buddy 2 with audio recording or visual scheduling apps such as First Then Visual Schedule with audio recording capabilities could provide the opportunity to sing a visual schedules or social stories – as long as you can sing (wouldn’t this be a great high school vocal group project?)!
I really enjoyed this app, especially how it made me think about the student needs and skills. Focusing on student’s abilities not their disability is important and sometimes you just have to think out of the box to deliver that! Kudos to St. Vincent College for this free app
This will definitely be in my OT iTool Kit – I have a couple of students in mind to trial this apps with, then I may need to find someone who can sing!