Starfish Therapies

January 30, 2012

Using Apps in PT


Okay, I’ll admit, I have app envy for the OT’s and SLP’s that have these great apps that they can use for their therapy sessions.  I keep checking out all the apps that I see recommended to see if I can figure out how to modify them for use in PT.  So far the best way I have figured out how to use them is for motivation and then also for exercise selection.  My favorites to use are below:

  1. Make Dice – This one is my new favorite now that Spinnerz is no longer available.  It lets you customize your dice and add as many dice as you want so that you could make one with activities and another one with numbers so it will tell you how many of each activity the kid has to do.  (The OT I work with got excited about making dice with letters on it so that the kiddo could roll the dice to figure out what letter they have to work on.)
  2. Mad Libs – This app was fun to use with a slightly older boy who understood that we were working on making a fun story and I got to explain the different types of words to him.  We are working on walking without an assistive device so every time he took 10-15 steps we got to do another word.  It fills in the smiley faces to show you how many words are still left so the kiddo also has a visual for how much longer until the story is finished.  It was the longest and farthest I have ever had this kiddo walk without complaining!
  3. Time Timer – This one is a little pricier if you get the ipad version but you can get the iphone version and just enlarge it.  Its a portable alternative for that classic red timer that gets used in a lot of therapy sessions.  I use it for kids who want to know how long they have to do an activity or for those who I am trying to increase their endurance or just their ability to stick with one task for longer periods of time.  Its great because you can change the sounds so that the kids get a sound when the time is up as well as a visual.
  4. Any-O-Meter – It is basically a meter that you can adjust by tilting the ipad.  You can create your own meters for whatever you are having the kiddo work on.  If you are working on step length you could have one that says big step on one end and small step on the other end.  You could play hide and seek with an object and have the kiddo crawl, tiptoe, run, skip, walk to find it or even go over, under, around and up obstacles to find it.  For this one you could use a hot/cold meter.  It can be a lot of fun!  If you have a kiddo with the right personality and you are working on mastering a skill you could use the preset awesome-o-meter and rate them after each trial (this one definitely takes a kiddo with the right personality though)!
  5. The Button – When I saw this I wasn’t sure if it would be of any use to us since we don’t currently have speech therapy and it may be cumbersome for some of our kids to have to program in the lines everytime we wanted them to say something.  Well, I was looking for a way to entertain one of my kiddos while we were working on reaching in sitting for trunk control and posture so I pulled this out and we had a blast for the rest of the session using it.  He had to reach up with two hands to touch the button and he would pick someone or something and I would write a message that the button would say when he pressed it.  I haven’t seen him laugh so hard in a long time.  Especially when we said one of the cat’s was a dog or that one of our therapists liked broccoli.  And he couldn’t wait to push it to see what it said next.  So you could probably use this for a kiddo that you want to repeat things over and over so that each trial they could push the button.  We had a blast although my personal favorite was when the button said ‘Stacy is the greatest’.
  6. Spinnerz – I have already touched on this one in How to Make Therapy Fun – Ways to Motivate Past the ‘No’. I just can’t resist posting it because it was so great and I hope someone will find another custom spinner that is as versatile.  Unfortunately it still seems to be off the market and I have looked for some other custom spinners but have not had much success with them being as versatile as this one.  Anyone who has found a great custom spinner please share!

I will keep you posted as I continue on the search for PT apps!  Please share any you use.



  1. My Spinnerz is still working on my iPad. Are you saying you can not download it anymore? That would stink it is a fun app.

    Here is one suggestion maybe you will get more out of it than me

    This one is cute – Move Like Me

    Try out eggnspoon – just like the good old fashioned egg and spoon race but on the iphone – very sensitive though. I plan on writing a blogpost about this one of these days.

    Have you tried FitQuest lite? I do not like it but maybe some of your kids will.

    I have an idea for a great one but not willing to take the plunge to pay a developer. Maybe some day…

    Comment by Margaret — January 30, 2012 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

    • Yea, its not available for download anymore. I keep checking and hoping it will come back! Thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out and keep you posted.

      Comment by Starfish Therapies — January 30, 2012 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  2. Oh one more thing that has nothing to do with PT but the kids LOVE it. Garage Band! Really fun app that you could use as a reward or even during sessions. Maybe they could bang on some drums, strum a guitar or add vocals in between exercises. Then at the end it can all get put together to create a song. Well worth the $5. Lots of laughs with this one when you use funny lyrics.

    Comment by Margaret — January 30, 2012 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

  3. Have you tried bugs and buttons app? its my favorite OT app out there and has like 15 games for a reasonable price

    Comment by rachel — January 30, 2012 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

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