Helpful Apps for Children
By: Kelly Daugherty, LCSW-R, GC-C
Since Christmas is only a few days away and I know that many of my clients are asking for electronics especially tablets, etc. I thought I would combine a list of some helpful apps that you may want to include on your child’s new electronic device. Since they will probably be attached to their device, why not purchase some apps that are going to help them with their challenges. These apps are designed to help children with a variety of issues including children who have experienced trauma, children who are diagnosed with ADHD and children who may have a hard time developing social and emotional skills.
TF-CBT Triangle of Life
A new mobile game app helps children who have experienced trauma by letting them use their tablets or smartphones to practice life skills they have learned in the therapist’s office. During the game, TF-CBT Triangle of Life, created by mental health professionals at Allegheny Health Network and students at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, the player takes the role of a lion in the jungle guiding other animals toward positive experiences and relationships.
The CBT*ABC way apps from TikalBayTek are to help young kids, teens, and adults practice paying attention to their upsetting thoughts, and practice challenging them with new, reasonable, and truthful thoughts!
Designed by PBS helping kids learn emotion recognizing skills, gain vocabulary describing emotions and feeling, all through fun games. All characters in the app are from the popular PBS show The Electric Company.
A role play game app aiming at tween and teens, teaching the essential social emotional skills. Kids enter the virtual world of Greenberry, help rebuilt the community, interact with various characters, and learn social skills, such as sharing responsibilities, calming down after unhappy encounters. The whole curriculum is built in the game setting and fully individualized based on players choices of actions.
Be confident in who you are
A comic book for tween and teens addressing common concerns for this age group: self-consciousness, stress, bullying, fitting in, body image, and sticky issues in friendships. All these issues are presented in story setting in an age appropriate manner.
Real Friends vs. The Other Kind
Another comic book app addresses friendship among middle school age kids. What does real friend mean? What to do when friends are doing something you don’t like? The app also has short quizzes asking kids what to do in different scenarios, all are real life scenarios. Highly recommend middle school and high school kids do the exercise.
An app for teens to access help and consulting to sensitive and challenging questions they face in everyday life, like “I feel sad”. The app provide professional yet personal help, help teenage kids understand why they feel that way, if necessary when and where to get help.
Offers solutions on how to control emotions and feel more positive. The app offers step-to-step guide for kids to express how they feel and how to turn negative emotions into positive feelings.
ABA Flash Card Emotions
For younger kids, a critical step in emotional well-being is the ability to recognize the emotion and articulate the feeling when experiencing it. This app showing pictures of different emotions and associate the word with the faces. Kids learn intuitively what different emotions are.
iLearn With Poko
Emotions : help young children learn about emotions by showing them short videos and kids identify the emotions the characters were experiencing. When kids have good mastering of different emotions, they are asked to provide solutions to make those characters feel good.
A fun app letting kids explore different emotions and facial expressions while interacting with 3 highly responsive animals. Each animal has a different personality. Kids learn to recognize feelings and emotions by interacting with the animals. A great tool for kids who cannot read or talk well.
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings
A great app from PBS Kids, it offers various activities to help kids put names to their feelings and begins a discussion about strategies to handle them. Those helpful songs will stick with kids for a long time.
How Would You Feel If…
Poses that question in 56 different life situations designed to lead to discussions of a child’s reaction and feelings. Each illustrated “card” asks a question, such as, “How would you feel if your favorite football team lost?” The appropriate and incorrect responses receive feedback, and a child’s results can be viewed on a graph.
Model Me Going Places
This app presents slideshows of children modeling appropriate behavior in everyday places, such as school, a store, or a restaurant. Each slide is accompanied by audio narration and descriptive text. Model Me Going Places helps reinforce expected behavior and lessens the fear of new places in a child with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
Sōsh is designed to help tweens, teens, and young adults improve social skills by focusing on five essential abilities: Relating, Relaxing, Reasoning, Regulating, and Recognizing. Developed by two psychologists, Sōsh’s “5R” strategy serves as a road map for individuals who want to be social, but may have faced obstacles in the past.
The Social Navigator
This revolutionary, albeit pricey, app was designed especially for children with ADHD and other social/behavioral difficulties. The Social Navigator can be used as a behavior-management device or as a teaching tool anytime your child is becoming agitated. The app promises to reduce oppositional behaviors, improve communication skills, and develop greater social awareness for kids ages 6 to 16.
A social story & a visual & audio tool to help people calm down when they are angry or anxious.
Mindfulness For Children
This app provides the opportunity to guide your child through short exercises and to choose what your child wants and is in need of in his or her daily practice. Beautifully spoken meditation exercises aimed specifically at children! Exercises guide children to a calm/relaxed state using easy to understand imagery. Mindfulness for Children provides relaxing sounds of nature to help children calm down and improve focus/concentration. Calm, reassuring voice gives step by step audio instructions on how to meditate. With descriptions and terms aimed at children, users are taken through body scans, visualizations and breathing exercises.
Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It is a unique web and App-based program, designed to help bring balance to young lives. It is a not-for-profit initiative based on a process that provides a sense of clarity, calm and contentment.