It is ten minutes before the bus is going to come and your child is not dressed, hasn’t eaten breakfast, still needs to brush his/her teeth and hair and is moving like a sloth around the house while you run around nagging them while trying to get ready yourself. Does this scene sound familiar? Don’t worry, there is an App for that!
Many parents struggle daily trying to motivate their kids to manage their own routines, from getting ready for school in the morning, managing homework and chore time, to managing their free time. Nowadays, technology has made it simple to teach self-management skills and capitalize on your child’s motivation to use a phone or tablet. The following are 8 different apps that can help motivate kids, help develop responsibility, help develop organization and help gain some independence.
- Remember the Milk – This App is easy to use and can be used by both parents and children. With Remember the Milk, you or your child can arrange and organize items on a “to-do” list. You or your child can create your own headings and tasks for each heading. The unique thing about this app is that each user can interact with other users, assigning tasks, due dates, and a time limit for each task. You can even prioritize each task by need. A great way for the whole family to be involved.
- Kazutime – Designed for young children three to eight years old by educators and therapists. Kazutime is easy to use and animal themed! This App uses visual, auditory, tactile, and cognitive cues to help teach and learn the concept of time.
- 30/30 – This App is designed with teens and young adults in mind. Headings can be created to keep your teen organized and timers can be set to help complete tasks in a designated time frame. The design is sleek and available for any IOS device.
- Happy Kids Timer – This App is designed with morning routines in mind, this app can also be used throughout the whole day. Easy to use and very kid-friendly. Happy Kids Time helps teach time management through the assignment of different tasks that include getting dressed, eating meals, packing bags, etc. Each task is given a completion time, and characters are there to help encourage your child to beat the clock. Every time the clock is beaten, your child claims a reward that gets them closer to a final reward at the end. The free version has only the morning routine, but for 99 cents you can upgrade to a customizable version.
- Choiceworks- Choice works by BeeVisual has two different Apps for the IOS operating system. The Choiceworks App is picture-based and helps children learn daily routines, understand feelings and helps improve both waiting skills and making choices. The pictures are very similar to what might be seen in a picture communication system. Choiceworks Calendar helps children learn the concepts of time for a whole month, teaching the bigger picture of organization on a monthly scale. Tasks can be added, along with countdowns, and email reminders. This App is both fun and interactive!
- First-Then Visual Schedule – This App is designed as a full feature schedule that includes first-then boards, visual schedules, task analyses, social stories and video models. It is fully customizable and all schedules can be shared. For each schedule, the steps can be broken down and a timer can be set for each individual step or for the task as a whole as well as pictures or videos of each step included. Great for learners who benefit from bigger tasks being broken down into smaller, more manageable parts.
- Visual Schedule Planner- This App is great for individuals who may need visual supports to help ease transitions or like their events for the day visually represented. It is customizable, can be viewed as a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule, and supports activity schedules and video models for each event. Activity schedule timers and checklist features are also available through this platform.
- Scene Speak- Though not created for self-management, this App is a creative way to help create different interactive social stories about different scenes in the house and in the community. It also has a nice feature to teach different parts of the body and can be used for communication and to increase receptive language. Great for teaching what to expect in different environments and to help increase positive transitions!
*This information is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be used to replace consultation with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional.