Singing Along with Apps
Singing is a universal expression of self. There’s a good chance that your child loves to sing even if he is a bit reluctant to speak. Singing therapy, formally called melodic intonation therapy (MIT), is often used as part of a stroke recovery treatment plan. Speech therapists also use it to encourage vocalization in children with speech disorders, such as apraxia.
If you’ve sung “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” a million times and can recite “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” perfectly in your sleep, it’s time to introduce your child to some new songs or perhaps a new method of singing. You could encourage your child to improvise and create his own songs, or you could make it a little easier by using some sing-along apps.
This app by Duck Duck Moose is the winner of the 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Available for $1.99, Old MacDonald offers 12 interactive pages of farming fun. Children can listen to the songs played by various instruments and sing along. They can also record their own singing, which can help elicit vocalization.
Toddler Jukebox offers 12 classic children’s songs for $1.99. Toddlers can tap easily recognized icons to play the songs. The songs include “Wheels on the Bus,” “Miss Mary Mack,” and “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” While this app falls a bit short on animations, children will enjoy singing their favorite songs over and over again. One reviewer noted that she used it for her child when she was too exhausted to sing along herself.
Kids Jukebox – Sports offers two free sample songs. The songs in this app describe playing at the beach, swimming, baseball, and other sports. This app may be particularly useful for introducing children to verbs such as “touch,” “stretch,” and “follow.” This app also offers a card game and a word game to help reinforce the child’s new vocabulary.
This free iPhone app is intended for children ages 4 to 9. Staraoke is an ideal app for children with shorter attention spans who are not satisfied with simply singing along. With Staraoke, kids can control a character as they sing. This app also offers a four-player competitive mode. It includes four classic children’s songs for free with an option to purchase additional songs.
This app is appropriate for tween and teen fans of the popular TV show, “Glee.” Kids can sing along to the most popular “Glee” songs, including “Lean On Me,” “Bad Romance,” and “Defying Gravity.” Parents should note that the price of each song varies. Kids can record their performances and, if they choose, share them with other users of the app.