Sunday, November 30, 2014

Calming, Part 4

Rounding out this series on apps to explore calming and self-regulation in the course of language intervention is the free app Epic Zen Garden. This title seems somewhat of a contradiction in terms as it hypes up your expectations for a "Zen" experience that just "is," but especially given the price it is a worthwhile app to explore. Zen Garden (let's just call it that, now) made a notable debut at a recent Apple event highlighting the power of the new interactive programming format called "Metal." The result is a beautiful graphical experience allowing you to explore the grounds of a house and engage in visual activities such as making a tree bloom, playing in a Koi pond, making patterns in the sand, releasing butterflies from a fountain, and viewing the house from afar. It's a simple experience but could be used as a sensory tool and for eliciting descriptive language. See also Beth Lloyd's great posts on apps for sensory seekers.


  1. A comment from a reader who emailed me: "I use Zen Garden to teach explaining, hierarchical thinking, and perspective taking. First we brainstorm in Inspiration and turn the map to an outline to create main points, key ideas, and details. Then the student explains the app using main points first to someone who has never seen it (like you just did). If the listener asks more questions, the student can give more detail. That way the student doesn't give too much info."

  2. Great article! I love this app and have fun drawing in the sand with my daughter who has speech and sensory issues

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