If you didn't already know, Toontastic for iPad is one of my favorite apps and, I think, one of the easiest and best ways to use animation in speech-language therapy. Toontastic is essentially a digital storytelling app created in response to its development team's (Launchpad Toys, a studio with a great educational lens) observation that Kindergarten is way fun and kids get to play quite a bit. Then, they get to first grade and that pretty much fades away and they are expected to "write stories," with no bridge between the two.
Toontastic is designed to scaffold that transition, by providing kids with digital "toys" and "playsets" (characters and settings) and the ability to record the screen as you simultaneously move them around and speak narration and dialogue. The app helps kids structure their stories according to the grammar of setup/conflict/challenge/ climax/resolution, which aligns well with other versions of story grammar (actually the one I use).
Toontastic lets you make your own characters and settings as well through a drawing tool, but right now they are offering a FANTASTIC deal through the end of February. Purchase the "Birthday Bonus" and receive all available playsets AND "all future toys" for the cost of $9.99*. Now, Toontastic itself is free, and comes with a number of playsets, but having all these available to you greatly extends the context and usefulness of the app. Current offerings include:
History: create stories about the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the addition of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, Suffrage with Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Hope Goodrich, and Civil Rights with Rosa Parks (yes, there is a bus in another playset) MLK Jr and Thurgood Marshall. Great curriculum connections!
Wildlife: use habitats and animal interactions on a savanna, arctic scene and rainforest.
Monsters: Did you ever see my book review of Kat Kong? Pair that book with these playsets!
Among many others, including sports scenes, real-world schema and play skills in the "Town" and "Pets" themes, I could go on and on...
I hope that many SLPs will take advantage of this offering and target vocabulary, sentence formulation, concepts, narrative, curriculum contexts, articulation and fluency, and social and play skills using this app and its playsets, which more or less form a creative suite. I just saw a tweet about this great book, Social Rules for Kids- here's an idea: make animations that apply each rule!
*This totally sounds like a sales pitch, but I think it's important to state that I wasn't compensated for this post, even with a code! I'm just that enthusiastic about this app...