Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred is the perfect app for bedtime reading. This digital picture book incorporates sights and sounds familiar to children everywhere, and entertains them with an engaging story that is sure to please.
Available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad
Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred is an updated app for the iPad from Bugalugs Early Childhood Learning. The story was written by Alana Noakes, a speech pathologist in Australia, who also compiled all the activities in the Learning Module. The story has features we have come to expect in high quality digital picture books, namely a Read to me option with a professional narrator, simple animations, and age appropriate illustrations.
How the App Works-
Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred has a very simple user interface. The choice to turn the narration on or off occurs on the opening screen. On each page, there are a few basic controls. In the upper right corner is a mute button, along with a repeat button. In the upper left corner is the Home button. Arrows are located on the right and left sides of the screen to go forward and back.
The story begins with a simple question asked by a duckling named Fred, "Mummy, is it time to go to bed?" The rest of the story includes all of the activities that must happen before bedtime. There's dinner, of course, then a bath, then brushing teeth, then picking up toys, then hugs and kisses, and finally it's time for bed. (Don't be shocked if there's a surprise ending.)
The learning activities use vocabulary directly taken from the story. They include:
- matching nouns (clock, plant, toy)
- identifying nouns (sun, bee, cheese)
- labeling nouns (apple, cup, moon)
- identifying functions (tells time, flies, grows)
- identifying categories (food, clothing, animal)
- identifying parts of an object (has a tail, has wings, has a handle)
As a speech/language pathologist, I immediately recognize these activities as being relevant to IEP goals that I write and use every day with children who have language delays. Correct responses are tabulated and a percentage is calculated for each activity. This makes record keeping a breeze.
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Clearly, the story of Sleepy Fred was written by a person familiar with the 3 "R"s of preschool literature: rhyme, rhythm, and repetition. Here is a sample from the text, "First wash your face, my super-fast Fred, Then when you're finished, it's time for bed. With a rub-scrub-rub-scrub, and a quack-quack-quack, Scurry-hurry, scurry-hurry, Quack, quack, quack!"
Appropriate for use at home, but also appropriate for an Early Childhood or Pre-K classroom, Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred is a crossover app that is well-suited for either setting.
In A Nutshell-
Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred combines a digital bedtime story with a corresponding language development program into a single app. The story centers on a little duckling who wants to know if it's time for bed. Written in simple language with appealing rhymes and sound patterns, children (ages 5 and under) will enjoy watching Fred go through his bedtime routine.
Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad
RRP - $/€1.99 / £1.49
At the time of this review, Early Language Development with Sleepy Fred does not contain third party ads, nor does it require any additional in-app purchases. According to the developer's website, the app does not collect any personal information from the user. Parents can be confident that their child's privacy is protected when using the app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.