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Monday, March 13, 2017

App Monday!

I feel like writing about Apps is becoming a thing :p  Three weeks in a row!  And I could probably go once a week for months with all the apps on my phone--perhaps that is a sign I rely too much on them?  Or a sign that at least one part of life is somewhat organized ;)

This week's app is a really simple one but I have used it for years and it can be a lifesaver. Its is Childrens Countdown--visual countdown timer for preschoolers.  I first started using it for my Busy Little B and have continued to use it for Iz.  They both really struggle with transitions and this is an easy way to get them prepared because they can glance at it at any time and get a visual on how much time has passed and how much is remaining.  B also used it a lot to understand taking turns--he can be very impatient, especially before we discovered his seizures, and the visual countdown was an easy way to help get him past the "I WANT IT NOW" mindset.  When the timer is done, it was his turn and he could have whatever it was he was waiting for.  It has also been great for timeouts--it can be hard for them to sit still when they don't have a sense of time passing and this timer solved that problem and helped them calm down and stay calm so they could finish time out and be able to think about why they were sitting there and how they should behave next time.

The app lets you choose minutes and seconds:


You start out with a solid color and as time ticks down, the color disappears and reveals the picture beneath:


You can choose a specific "standard" picture to use every time, let it choose from a set of standard pictures at random so you can get a different picture every time, or you can upload your own photos (useful if you are counting down to a transition--for example, once the timer is done, a picture of your car appears and the child knows they have to leave).  Most of the time we leave it on random because mine enjoy being surprised by a "new" picture:


B and Iz's favorite part of the app comes at the end--when the entire picture is revealed, it spins around and throws confetti and then stops and shows the entire picture standing still:


The free version runs a little ad banner along the bottom but you can also make a one time purchase of 99 cents to get rid of the ads.