Some updates on other writings- so far this year I have had several columns published in ASHA Leader, in case you missed them:
May 1, 2014. Tech-Supported Wellness
April 1, 2014. 'Skitch' Up your Visual Aids
January 1, 2014. Zooming in on One Multitalented App
Recently I also posted for Mindwing Concepts on infusing use of Braidy, The Storybraid™ with Social Thinking's® terrific Incredible Flexible You™ program
When Lego's® Friends line of toys came on the market, marketed as "Lego for Girls," it met with some controversy about gendered branding. After all, there already was a Lego for Girls. It was called Lego.
Despite this, it seems girls do respond to the look and feel of Friends, and I appreciate any toy that develops hands-on, narrative and cooperative play. I also applaud Lego for their creation of a number of free, language-useful apps, even if the goal of these apps is to get people to buy more Lego. Minor critique aside, Lego does make a great product.
I recently found Lego Friends Story Maker app very useful in working with a small group of girls- the app is a pretty simple and limited scene creator, but in some cases it can be helpful to present only small arrays of choices. The goal can always be, how do we make a story of what we see here?
The app allows you to select from a variety of backgrounds (beach, school, etc) add characters and setting elements, as well as smaller props. As an added bonus, you can record an audio narration for your created scene, always a good opportunity to practice applicable speech and language targets or strategies.
Scene creators provide a context to develop all sorts of language targets, from concepts to description to sentence formulation. The app is limited in its text features (i.e. I'd really want to make a comic with it), but here's a place you can "app-smash." Just screenshot your scene and then add the photo to Strip Designer and you're good to add word and thought balloons and captions, helpful for scripting and other aspects of social development.
As in other cases, if you have any Friends or other Lego toys on hand, the app can help you practice play scripts and plans to enact with real-world toys.