I downloaded the free version of My PlayHome on my iPad this month in a pinch, as I was preparing for a session with an active, impulsive kindergartener with limited verbal skills… and I’m so glad I did! In fact, I went back to the App Store that very afternoon to buy the full version of My PlayHome, along with the partner app My PlayHome Stores.

Basically, these apps work like an elaborate doll house, with lots of working parts – faucets that turn on, cereal you can take out of the cupboards and pour into bowls, dolls you can swing on the tire swing and bounce on the trampoline. You can manipulate a variety of characters in different areas of the house (kitchen, living room, bedroom, closet, bathroom, backyard). The Play Stores addition opens up the ability to leave the house, walk down the street and explore a fruit stand, and ice cream parlor, a grocery store, and a clothing store, complete with ATM!

I used the app for collecting a language sample, but you could address a whole variety of language goals:

  • following directions/basic concepts (“Put the book under the table.”)
  • pronouns (“She is sleeping. He is cooking.”)

  • verb tenses (“I cooked the dinner. Now I’m eating it. After this I will go to the store.”)

  • describing/giving details (“I see something that is on the shelf. It is small and orange.”)

The only thing that would be better is if it would record my language sample from within the app. Tell us what you’re doing with this great app!