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Activity

Going to the Playground: APH app

Have fun practicing basic preschool, graphics literacy and orientation concepts with this virtual playground!

This interactive free iOS app uses motivating playground objects to teach a variety of preschool/kindergarten concepts. The self-voicing game walks students through spinning on the merry-go-round, (circle that spins left or right), jumping in and out of the square sandbox and climbing up and down the monkey bars. These three items are located in set positions with the merry-go-round on the left, the sandbox in the middle and the monkey bars on the right. Paired with tactile overlays, students practice both tech and graphics literacy skills.

The video below demonstrates the first activity, spinning the merry-go-round.

Following directions, students find, explore and how to interact with each object. The “Map Game” asks a variety of questions, such as:

Note: Listen to the full directions before touching the screen. If a student touches the screen during the instructions, the game does not recognize the touch. There is a slight delay between the instruction period and when touches are accepted.

The video below demonstrates the interactive questions in the Map Game.

Thoughts

This game incorporates many skills into one exciting game! Students learn about three types of common playground equipment, exposed to shapes, positional concepts, age-appropriate tech skills, tactile graphics, mental mapping, listening to directions, and more – all rolled into one fun game!

The game is accessible through self-voicing; it does not work with VoiceOver. The app uses bright high contrast colors on a black, uncluttered background. The game is intended to be played with Tactile Overlays (available through APH). Because the tactile overlays are designed to fit the 9.7 inch iPad ONLY, APH recommends this game to be used only on the 9.7 inch iPad. However, teachers can hand-make tactile overlays to fit any size iPad. Note: PIAF or Swell machine tactile graphics work well, as the iPad will still respond correctly through capsule paper. When making tactile overlays, be sure that iPad will recognize the student’s touch through the material used.

The game is designed to be used for students with low vision (does not require tactile graphics) or students with no or little usable vision (does require tactile overlays, at least initially!) Students must directly tap on the three images. Dragging a finger to the image does not activate an announcement; only a tap on the image activates the image announcement or activates the button.

To initially start the game, the user must “Touch the title at the top to start the story.” This title is not announced for a blind user to find; however, the title is in the top, middle of the screen. A blind user can tap around the top middle to activate the start of the game.

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