Does your school use the Seesaw app? Here’s a story of parent fail and the awesomeness of this app. If you work for a school district as a teacher or administrator and are not using the Seesaw app, hopefully, this app review will give you some insight from a parent’s perspective on how this app works.
We have a second grader and kindergartener this year, for reference.
Seesaw App Review
Last year, our son’s teacher mentioned needing to download the Seesaw app at open-house. It was a whirlwind event, we didn’t download the app – life went on. At this year’s open-house, we again were told to download the app. We went home, and guess what we didn’t do? Nope, too many things – as a mom to 4 kids, life gets busy.
The next week, I received a nice email from the teacher stating that she sees that we haven’t downloaded the Seesaw app and asked that we download it. OKAY, third time is a charm, right? Actually, I am pretty sure there were several more reminders – as we have TWO kids in elementary school. Needless to say, I gave in and downloaded the Seesaw app and the rest of this post is a love story for the app and a bad parenting story.
Seesaw is a classroom app that acts like a social network connecting you to your kids class, teacher and work. Here is where I tell you about the parent fail. So, I mentioned we finally installed the app. Well, where we logged in I was smacked in the face with why I should have downloaded the app the school year before.
Watching the eclipse!
In the app is a timeline of your child’s schoolwork. Not only that, there are photos and videos of my kid talking and reading to ME. And again, not just ONE KID – BOTH KIDS. The Seesaw app, thankfully stores all of your kid’s posting history, so I was able to view the previous year’s school work.
Our kids’ teachers use Seesaw as a communication tool. I don’t know about you, but my email is ugly. Finding and keeping up with the teacher communication for all 4 of our kids is a joke. With push notifications, I quickly know what the teacher needs.
Our second grader’s teacher posts the spelling words each week in the app. This is super helpful as we know where to find the spelling words each week.
Student-Driven Digital Portfolio
Students are taught (even the Kindergartener) how to use the app. Here is the description from Seesaw:
Here is the description from Seesaw:
Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio. Seesaw empowers students of any age to create, reflect, collaborate and share. Invite families to Seesaw to keep them in the loop about their child’s learning, and easily communicate between school and home.
Used in over 200,000 classrooms, 1 in 4 schools in the US, and over 150 countries!
As a parent, I can heart a photo or media item, comment – as well message the teacher.
Don’t Be a Parent Fail!
Don’t be a parent fail, like us! If your kid’s school encourages the use of Seesaw, download it!
Download the App
Read more app reviews from Digital Mom Blog!
Learn how to type guide – let’s look at various typing resources to learn the best ways to teach typing and increase you or your child’s WPM! (words per minute)
Learn How to Type Guide
Typing is now something kids and adults are just suppose to know how to do. While previously typing was a class where everyone sat behind an old school type writer and learned the asdf jkl;. While typing has gone to the way side for keyboarding, keyboarding is not a required class in many schools. Also, not all adults know how to type quickly. Let’s look at resources to help those who want to learn how to type increase their words per minute. We’ve compiled numerous resources to help you find the best way for you to learn how to type in the manner that works best for you.
Online Typing Classes
Online Typing Games
There is an app for everything, including learning how to type. Here’s a list of free typing apps:
iOS Typing Apps
Tap Typing Trainer
Master typing on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch with the Tap Typing Trainer typing app for iOS. This free app features a speed test and sample of all lessons. You can purchase full typing lessons with an in-app purchase. From beginner to pro, this app serves all levels of typists.
Ghost Type app is the only typing tutor that allows you to create your own lessons with your content to suit your child or students With built-in lessons for beginner to advanced, this app offers parents and teachers a great platform to teach typing.
Ghost Type iOS Typing App offers QWERTZ, AZERTY and Dvorak keyboards.
Keyboarding Without Tears
We are HUGE fans of the Handwriting Without Tears app so we were excited to see that the same company offers an iOS app specifically to teach keyboarding. The Keyboarding Without Tears app offers effective game play to learn typing for ages K-5th grade.
Android Typing Apps
Learn to Type
From sitting posture, home row position and finger motions – the Learn to Type Android app shows you keyboarding tipes and more. Thru online speed test, ten-key test, and free typing lessons – this app will help your K-12 student learn the best practices in typing.
Using your keyboard, this game helps you improve your typing speed by competing against others. Competition can motivate! There are practice session for practicing and self-evaluation or go full-on and start competing in the Typing Master Android typing app.
Looking to improve your typing skills? This app features exercises to practice typing on a computer keyboard or classic typing machine.
Online Typing Classes
Let’s look at various online typing classes. Learn to type from any computer with these courses.
Typing Club guides you from the basics on with interactive lessons teaching you to type. It’s free and a great resource for early typers!
If you are a teacher looking for online typing courses, check out typing.com. Typing.com is free, offering unlimited classes for both individuals and students. You can pay a small fee to have advertising removed.
Learn to Type Software
Here is a list of learn to type software if you are wanting to learn via a software program.
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
Anyone who grew up in school during the 90’s, most likely knows of Mavis Beacon. Mavis taught many of us how to type – and guess what, she is still around with even more resources.
Side note: There is no Mavis Beacon. Nope, Mavis was a made up character. Sorry to be the one to have to break it to you!
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Version 18 is available on Amazon.
Typing Master is available for Windows 10. If you are looking for a free version, they offer one – but it is limited in functionality.
Want to know how fast exactly you type? Here is a list of websites that offer free typing test. Leave your WPM in the comments!
Online Typing Games
Looking to get kids engaged while learning how to type? Try these online typing games. Kids love games and even better when they learn while they are playing.
Typing Games Zone
Typing Games Zone offers over 20 typing games for your kids to play. From Alien Typing Wars to Typing Galaxy, there is a different type of game that surely your kids will find one to love to play.
Type racer is an online typing game that lets your “race” others by typing.
Typing.com offers 9 free online typing games for you or your kids to play. Our favorite is Type-A-Balloon!
There you have it, our online guide to typing. Everything you want to know about learning how to type, typing apps, speeds test, typing games and more. Have a resource we missed? Leave it in the comments!
Speech therapy apps – helping your littles with their speech via an app is a great way to learn thru play. Learning thru play is something we have really strived to do with our kids.
When our older kids were little, iPads and technology really weren’t a thing. Their learning thru play occurred with Leap Frog toys and Baby Einstein. Our younger two kids are all about iPads and electronics, so when it became apparent that they both needed speech therapy, in additional to working with a speech therapist – we incorporated app play.
Best Speech Therapy Apps
These apps are not meant to replace speech therapy by any means, but act as another encourager and teach as your child learns to pronounce sounds correctly.
First on our list of Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is the Articulation Station speech app. This speech therapy app offers 6 engaging articulation activities. The app is free to download and offers the “P” sound program for free. You will need to purchase the other sound programs.
The Articulation Station app offers practice at the word, phrase, sentence and story levels in one app. These activities encourage your kid to love practicing their sounds and hopefully forget that they are actually working, not playing!
Here are some features. Something to note, this is a pricey app if you purchase all downloads – though it does gets excellent reviews.
- Quick tips for teaching each sound
- 20 target words per sound position (initial, medial, final)
- Beautiful high quality images
- Create custom word lists
- Shuffle multiple sounds
- Flashcard activity
- Matching activity
- Rotating Sentences (like carrier phrases)
- Unique Sentences
- Level 1 stories with picture prompts and comprehension questions
- Level 2 stories with comprehension questions
- In depth Scoring and data tracking for each child/student
- Student profiles
- Group sessions (Up to 6 students at one time!)
- Voice recording and playback feature for monitoring responses
- Save audio recordings
- Backup and restore your data
Download from iTunes
Elmo Loves ABCs
While the Elmo Loves ABCs app is not your standard speech therapy app, is does work with your children on articulation and it features a fun lovable character that your child probably already knows… ELMO!
The Elmo Loves ABCs app features songs, videos, games and more all about letters!
• Slide, sweep, swipe, touch, trace and dig to discover over eighty classic Sesame Street clips, seventy five Sesame Street coloring pages, and four different ways to play hide and seek!
• Touch and trace your favorite letter to unlock its surprises.
• Tap on the star button to discover even more letter activities.
• Personalize by adding your own photos and videos to the game.
• ABCs tracker for grown-ups to see how your child is doing.
• Ability to purchase even more great letter content and holiday surprises.
What Your Child Will Learn:
• Letter identification (uppercase and lowercase)
• Letter sounds
• Letter tracing
• Art and creativity
• Music appreciation
Elmo Loves ABCs App Tips:
• If you wish to personalize Elmo Loves ABCs by adding your own content, remember to complete all the fields: name, recording, photo, and video! If you do not have all four, your content will not appear in the game.
• Your videos must be in “Photos” (your device’s photo library) on your iPad or they will not be accessible by the game.
• To upload video into the “Photos” folder using iTunes, connect your device and click on the “Photos” tab. Click on the “sync photos from” box, and use the drop down menu to choose the folder that your videos are in. Make sure that you have the “include videos” box checked before you sync. If you are using a Mac, you may also use iPhoto to sync your videos under the pictures tab. Again, just make sure you have the “include videos” box checked.
Download from iTunes
Kids Vocabulary, Grammar and Language Learning Games App
Another Speech Therapy Apps for Kids to check out is the Kids Vocabulary, Grammar and Language Learning Games App. This app was developed to help your child get ready for school with fun language development learning and educational games for kids via an app.
• Cross-curricular game-based learning program in Math, Science, Literacy, Language and more
• Self-adjusting levels of difficulty
• Unique progress tracker to follow your child’s progress across apps and devices
• Detailed success stats
• Recommended learning path personalized for each child
• Add up to 4 children per account
• Over 200 fun rewards to motivate your child to continue his/her learning experience
• Designed with educational and child development experts
• No third party advertising
Download from iTunes
Phonics Studio App
Phonics Studio app is a free app that provides over 2,500 flashcards to help kids pronounce more than 200 sounds. Your child selects a letter from the alphabet than a sound. Each has a collection of flashcards. Your child can practice by listening and then recording their voice saying the sounds.
● The app comes loaded with over 2,500 gorgeous flashcards
● Phonic sounds are grouped by letter into 200+ unique sound groups
● Consistent number of phonic words within each sound group
● Beautiful high quality images
● Supports In-depth scoring and user tracking
● Ability to track unlimited number of users
● Ability to email detailed summary reports
● Stores students progress, including their audio so you can clearly hear progress over time
● The app is beautifully designed which makes it great for kids of all ages and all abilities
● This app is FULLY customizable to your students needs
● Can even add own cards, categories, sound groups and more…
Download from iTunes
Speech Therapy Tool Kit
Last on our list of Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is The Speech Therapy Tool Kit app. It was created by a licensed SLP and offers nine great tools for parents, teachers and therapists.
This app is free to download, but does offer in-app purchases for full capability. Here is what is included in the Speech Therapy Tool Kit app:
- Milo’s Sticker Chart is great for rewarding children. There are a lot of cute stickers for your child to choose from. You can have a sticker chart for as many children as you like.
- The Coloring Book is good fun for any child. You can color on the iPad or print it out and color the old fashioned way.
- Therapy Ideas is new and improved. We have 130 ideas for activities focused on speech and language, and we continue to add more. We have the ideas broken into ‘general’, ‘articulation’, ‘language’, and ‘videos’.
- Articulation Tool – popular articulation images, there are approximately 1400 images.
- Tracking Tools: goal tracker, therapy notes to keep daily SOAP notes, attendance tracker, IEP calendar
- Age Calculator
Download from iTunes
Which of the Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is your favorite? Leave us a comment below!
Here are some more posts from Digital Mom Blog that you may enjoy:
Handwriting Without Tears app has been a huge help in our house. Our 2 littles just don’t quite get the wonderful penmanship of that their mother has (I have the worse handwriting.) If your child needs help in the hand writing department, look no further – we have a solution!
Teach handwriting with this app!
Wet Dry Try Handwriting Without Tears App
Handwriting Without Tears is a program you maybe familiar with if you have worked with a school, tutor or occupational therapist with your kid and hand writing. We had used the program thru our OT a few years ago. She had recommended that we download the Wet Dry Try Handing Writing Without Tears app to continue our son’s progress at home.
The Handwriting Without Tears app that we use is called: Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase and can be found here (in case you are scouring the app store for which one to buy.) It works with your child on teaching the correct way to write their capitals, lowercase and numbers.
I should note – currently, Wet Dry Try app is only available for iOS. It does work amazing on the iPad since it’s similar in size to that of a piece of paper.
Teaching Handwriting With an App
One of my favorite things about the Handwriting Without Tears app is the positive encouragement given thru-out the app. For the demo, I played quite a bit with the app and felt like I was getting a pat on the back every time I wrote my 8 the correct way!
Funny thing, as I was going thru this – I quickly learned that I draw my letters and numbers TOTALLY wrong. As mentioned, my penmanship sucks so this could be of benefit to anyone who wants help with learning the correct way to form your letters and numbers.
Just a tip when starting the learning process on this app. When you go to the letters (either capital or lowercase) or the numbers, choose the HWT ORDER button.
This is the Handwriting Without Tears suggested order for learning. This will teach your kids in a different order than the standard A-B-C or 1-2-3 order. This is the easiest order for your kids to learn!
About the Wet-Dry-Try App
The Wet-Dry-Try app is $4.99 – but in my opinion worth it. Here is more about the app from the developer:
Make handwriting practice fun! With Wet-Dry-Try, children learn and practice correct formation habits for writing capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters. The app simulates our Slate Chalkboard and Blackboard with Double Lines and helps children learn handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. The result truly is handwriting without tears!
Practice and Learn Hand Writing on the iPad
Here are the Handwriting Without Tears app features. Not only did our OT recommend this app, but so did our kids’ Kindergarten and First Grade teachers.
- A proven multi-sensory approach teaches children to write letters and numbers with correct habits and without reversals.
- Children can practice letters in any order they choose, or follow the HWT Order, which presents the letters in the proven Handwriting Without Tears® developmental teaching order.
- A personal coach helps children with friendly audio cues to learn formation steps and fix mistakes.
- Student-created avatars let children personalize their learning, and help them easily identify their accounts.
- Each letter has three levels of difficulty that build skills progressively. Master a level and win a star. Earn three stars and win a letter card. Collect them all to win the grand prize!
- The two options for sensitivity allow parents and educators to adjust the writing tolerance depending on each student’s needs.
- The smiley face and Slate Chalkboard frame promotes good handwriting and reading habits for capitals and numbers.
- Lefty-friendly setting lets you adapt horizontal cross-strokes to make their handwriting easier.
- The double lines, modeled after our Blackboard with Double Lines, make it easy to understand where lowercase letters start and end.
If you are a teacher or educator needing classroom usage with the app, purchase the Handwriting Without Tears Classroom edition. This will allow you a classroom license, enabling multiple students will be able to create a profile and save their handwriting progress.
Download the App
Handwriting Without Tears Products
If you are looking for additional handwriting support, outside of an app – check out these Handwriting Without Tears products. These are used in our kids classroom and at OT and can provide great additional help when your littles need assistance with writing.
Handwriting Without Tears SAS Slide Stamp and See Screen, 4Handwriting Without Tears HWT SLT Slate ManipulativeHandwriting Without Tears Letters and Numbers KindergartenHandwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity BookHandwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity BookCan-Do Cursive, Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive for the Older Student Grades 5 and upHandwriting Without Tears Pencils for Little Hands,4 inchesHandwriting Without Tears DAW Double Line Wide Draw and Write NotebookHandwriting Without Tears FC Flip Crayon Set, Multiple Color (Pack of 206)Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power Plus (Printing Power + Kick Start Cursive)Cursive Success Grade 4 (Handwriting Without Tears 2013)Letters and Numbers for Me Grade KHandwriting Without Tears Block Paper – 8 1/2 x 11 inches – Set of 104 Sheets – GrayHandwriting Without Tears My Printing Book – Grade 1Handwriting Without Tears Printing Power Grade 2 (2013)Handwriting Without Tears 1st Grade Printing Teacher’s GuideHandwriting Without Tears WN Double Line Regular Writing Notebook, 0.2The Pencil Grip Original Universal Ergonomic Writing Aid for Righties and Lefties, 6 Count, Assorted Colors (TPG-11106)Handwriting Without Tears – Wood Pieces Set for Capital LettersHandwriting Without Tears Pre-Writing Roll-A-Dough Letters and Numbers Set, 4 X 6 in, PlasticHandwriting Without Tears BB Blackboard with Double Lines, 10
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Toca Hair Salon 3 App Review
Must-Have iPhone Accessories
Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is one of the top apps on the Apple app store. We decided to give this hair salon app for kids a play to see what all the fuss is about.
Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Review
We have some more app reviews coming up and decided the best way to handle the kid apps is to let our kids play them, we’ll review and give our review from a parenting perspective. I know what it’s like when your kid is screaming and all you want them to do is sit in the doctor’s office and play on the iPad for 10 minutes so that you can talk to the doctor. Been there done that. Let’s review the Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app.
First things first: Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is $2.99. Is it worth it? I thought so, keep reading to learn more about what we loved and what are scared of!
What’s This Hair Salon App All About?
The Toca Hair Salon 3 app let’s your kid become a hair stylist. I should say this app isn’t just for kids. I did get lost for uhm, more time that I care to admit playing around with all the features and making awesome hair creations. Here is what Toca Boca says about this app:
Welcome to Toca Hair Salon 3! Our most popular app series returns, better than ever! What do you feel like creating today — something quirky, pretty or edgy? Choose your character from dozens of looks that you can customize — characters have randomized styles and personalities, which creates endless play opportunities! Grab your tools and get styling!
What Can You Do in This App?
This app allows kids to play hair salon. Choose a hair client from an array of option. You can cut, add hair, shave, add facial hair, color hair, add accessories, take photos, shampoo, blow dry, towel dry and more!
What I do love about this app, it shows an array of people and hair types. From straight hair to kinky hair, this hair app shows them all.
Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 App Features
Toca Boca Hair Salon 3 app is the THIRD app in the Toca Boca hair salon series. That’s right, there is a version 1 and version 2. Here are some updates and why you might want to consider downloading this app for your child.
- All-new characters with dozens of starter styles
- Straight, wavy, curly and now kinky hair!
- All the tools you need to create the style you want!
- New braiding tool!
- Every character can grow a beard to style
- More advanced hair color tool: Dip-dye and fade hair in any colors you want!
- Change clothes on characters!
- Dozens of new accessories: hats, glasses, jewelry and more
- Change backdrops in the photo booth!
- Snap a picture in the app and share with your friends!
- Gender-neutral aesthetic: Unlike most hairstyling apps, all kids are welcome to play!
- No time limit or high scores — play for as long as you like!
- No third-party advertising
About Toca Boca
I see the Toca Boca brand quite a bit on my kids’ devices. I really like what they stay for, this is how they describe their company:
Toca Boca is an award winning game studio that makes digital toys for kids. We think playing and having fun is the best way to learn about the world. Therefore we make digital toys and games that help stimulate the imagination, and that you can play together with your kids. Best of all – we do it in a safe way without third-party advertising or in-app purchases.
Parent’s Review of Toca Hair Salon 3 App
So what does this parent thing of Toca Hair Salon 3 app? I think it’s adorable. My ONE and only worry about this app is that my curious boys will have so much fun playing this on the iPad that they too will want to cut their own hair (or each others!) or give each other a shave in real life. It’s been a while since we’ve had a kid give themselves a hair cut, I really don’t want to have to go thru that again.
If you are looking for an educational app – this isn’t it. Hair Salon 3 app isn’t an educational app in the traditional aspect.
Other than that – LOVED IT.
- Kid Friendly
- Parent Friendly
- Fun and Entertaining
- Kept Kids Entertained
Download the App
General Screen Time Talk
I have no problem with giving kids screens, but like all things we make sure there is balance in our kids’ lives. Interested in learning more about our rules? One thing we stick to is the No Screens in the Bedroom rule and Screen Free Sunday.
If you downloaded the Toca Hair Salon 3 app, leave a comment. I would love to know what you think!