Any of you #slpeeps involved in Twitter have probably seen this app touted as “the app that kids can’t play alone.” I was intrigued and, okay, a little skeptical. Thankfully, I downloaded it and was pleasantly surprised.
What It Is: Developer all4mychild‘s interesting spin on the game of 20 Questions.
How It Works: The game truly does require at least two players. One player has the iDevice and chooses an object to “hide” in the bag. There are over 100 objects to choose from, including everything from animals to tools to foods to instruments. Once the object is hidden in the bag, the second person is supposed to guess what was chosen. There are prompts on the side to help structure the guesses if necessary (e.g. “What is the most important thing about it?”). If they choose correctly, they can pinch the bag to open it and find the object inside.
My Therapy Applications: Since downloading this app a couple of weeks ago, I must have used it at least ten different ways! Since I see children 1:1, it is often the two of us playing together; however, I have also had them play with siblings, parents, grandparents, and classmates. There are two broad ways that we play it: having the child hide/describe and having the child guess/ask questions. The following are some specific goals I have addressed using this app.
1. Having the child hide/describe. I’ve used this for quite a few purposes: 1a. Descriptive vocabulary. Depending on the child’s abilities, I may help them with prompts such as “What does it (look, taste, feel, etc.) like?” 1b. Sneakily increasing semantic relationships and associations. 1c. Answering wh-questions. (“Where does this animal live? What does this animal look like?”) 1d. Categorization. (“It is in the group?”) 1e. Basic concepts. (“Is it tall/short?”)
2. Having the child guess/ask questions. 2a. Asking wh-questions appropriately.
3. In general. 3a. Turn-taking. The whole game is based on question-answer, so working on turn-taking is easy to incorporate naturally. 3b. Memory. This could go either way (with the child choosing or guessing) because the child needs to either remember what s/he chose or remember some of the options s/he has to guess. 3c. Problem-solving/reasoning. This could be top-down or bottom-up, depending on how it is played.
Pros: 1. Price. $.99 for such a great app is a good bargain.
2. Good balance of structure. There is definitely a clear set-up for the game, yet it has enough flexibility to allow for creativity. This is definitely my favorite part about the game. There are so many ways I can use it, and I can cater it to the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
3. Ease of use. Even young preschoolers understand how to use it after a few trials.
4. Versatility. SO many goals and objectives can be addressed using this app.
5. It truly CAN’T be played alone!
6. Kids enjoy it. Especially when they are the ones choosing/describing, there is an element of “tricking” the therapist or other player that they definitely love!
Cons: 1. This isn’t really a con since the app was designed for younger children, but it is definitely geared toward the younger crowd. It would be nice to have something similar for older students/clients like middle/high schoolers.
The Take-Away: I really have no complaints about this app! It’s simple, but it does what it says, and it does it well! It’s inexpensive, can be used for a variety of purposes in a variety of ways, and cannot be played alone. My advice: download it if you work with preschool or elementary kids.
My Question for You: I’m sure there are a million more ways to use this app–what’s yours?