The Animal Fun app, available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, uses technology to dig deeper into the idea of flash cards. By adding layers of engaging sounds and visuals, the app transforms ordinary flash cards into a fun, interactive learning experience that will help to develop your toddler’s budding language skills.
Each flash card shows a picture of a real animal and plays a fun sound effect of the noise the animal makes. In addition to showing the name of the animal on the cards and speaking its name, the app also has an option to spell the animal’s name out loud. In this feature, each letter in the animal’s name is highlighted as it is spoken, allowing your child to follow along. This helps her become familiar with letters and the sounds they make within a word while encouraging her speech development.
Animal Fun is easy to use and requires only a simple tap to switch between any of the 50+ animals on its cards. Each version also offers an alphabetized list of all the animals in the menu, making it easy to locate your toddler’s favorites in a snap and to identify less familiar animals for continued learning.
Based entirely on Open Source software, the app is free on all devices and features a version specifically designed for the iPad. The new 3.0.1 version refines the original by fixing a few bugs and enhancing the user interface to make the product easier for you and your toddler to use.
According to reviews on iTunes, many parents love the idea of Animal Fun, but are disappointed by the quality of some of the pictures. What the app lacks in frills, it makes up for in simplicity and user options that allow the parent to choose which sounds accompany the flash cards. The app is ideal for toddlers to learn the basics of identifying animals and the sounds they make while fostering language development, but would likely not interest older children looking for additional stimulation. There are plenty of other great apps for older kids!
Hearing each flash card in three different ways – through the animal sound, the sound of its name, and the spelling of the name- while looking at a picture of the animal lets your child experience a greater understanding of how the language they hear is connected to both objects and the written word. This process plays an important part in the language development, and later the reading ability, of your toddler, making this free and easy app a great addition to your child’s daily learning.
If you are concerned with your child’s speech or language development, please contact Chicago Speech Therapy by calling 312-399-0370 or by clicking on the “Contact Karen” button on the upper right section of this page.
Karen George is a Chicago speech-language pathologist. The practice she founded, Chicago Speech Therapy, LLC, provides in-home pediatric speech therapy in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Karen and her team of Chicago speech therapists have a reputation for ultra-effective speech therapy and work with a variety of speech disorders. Karen is the author of several books such as A Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Milestones, A Parent’s Guide to Articulation, A Parent’s Guide to Speech Delay, A Parent’s Guide to Stuttering Therapy, and A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Feeding Therapy. She is often asked to speak and has addressed audiences at top Children’s Hospitals and Northwestern University. Karen is highly referred by many Chicago-area Pediatricians and elite schools.