Apps for Fun

In my last blog, A Few of My Favourite Things, I talked about a few of my favourite pieces of therapy equipment and I mentioned my iPhone/iPad .  One of our collegues commented on some of her favourite apps and I thought that we may all have different apps that we really like and use everyday.  I’d like to begin by listing the ones I find helpful but I truly would love it if you would share the ones you use as well, that way we all benefit from each other’s experience.  So here we go……

Blowing Apps for increased recruitment of the diaphragm (in alignment of course, otherwise we can’t maximize recruitment :))

1. iBreathe Fire












2.  Balloonimals








3. Blow out the Candle responsive/id434064534?mt=8












4.  Paper Airplanes

Blow the paper airplane across the screen. Levels set for easy, medium and hard.










5. Breathe – the Autonomic Pilot by Autonomic Power

This one works for blowing but combines that with visual and auditory feedback and rhythm for calming.












6.  Metronome

Use a beat in the background to help promote sensory organization and movement rhythm (for more information you can check my Tuesday Tip on Facebook on Jan 29, 2014).












Measurement Apps:

7.  SketchBook Express

I found the application for this on the blog at Your Therapy Source (  If you use this app with your camera, and the grid shared on the blog, you can superimpose the posture grid on to a client photo and email it to yourself for use in your digital record.









8. Ustabilize Lite

Interactive challenges for maintaining your balance.  You can learn to cheat, but most of my clients think it’s fun.









9.  Balance Test

A fun app you can use in any position to practice stability.













10.  NFL Play 60

This is a new app sponsored by the American Heart Association and the NFL.  Kids have to run, jump and turn quickly to play the game.












11.  Short Sequence Kids Yoga Journey Lite

This short sequence of easy poses includes 2 poses that favour extension, one that favours rotation and 2 full flexion poses that contribute to sensory organization.










12.  Coach’s Eye

I like this app best on the iPad.  It allows me to import two videos and view them side by side.












Okay, those are my favourite apps.  What are yours?





7 thoughts on “Apps for Fun

  1. These are great…..never thought about balloonimals for breath control! Gonna check these out.

    • Hi Jo, a therapist told me about Balloonimals on one of the first Dynamic Core for Kids courses we taught. I have found many of the apps when colleagues shared their favourites on courses. Hoping we can get everyone to share at least one of the apps they love to use!

  2. LOVE all your ideas for breath control. New for me, will have to check them out. Also, the balance ones are new to me too.
    I love the gesture recognition apps especially Ball Strike.
    The metronome app is great on the iphone to teach children rhythmic timing.
    I use giant timer and tabata timer to give children a clear picture of how long they need to complete certain activities.
    Sworkit is nice on idevices and the computer to increase endurance with no equipment needed.

  3. Hi Shelley,

    Many of these I haven’t seen before, so thanks so much for sharing them. I had the opportunity recently to develop some of my own apps. I would love you to take a look - I’m an OT working predominantly with children with autism, so designed these apps to be easy to use, with minimal screen distractions.

  4. I have had great success with an app through vital links called therapeutic listening. I downloaded and now play the song entitled: oral respiratory on head phones. I use the song prior and during some motions with more consistent breathing, deeper breathing, and overall more inner core recruitment.

    • Hi Barb, thanks for your comment. There are quite a few therapeutic listening programs that address breathing directly or secondarily. I’ve used Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention as well as the Quickshift Oral Motor/Respiratory track you mention, particularly with clients who don’t allow hands-on. Some other therapists I know use Integrated Listening Systems. I have seen some short-term change in respiration with many of these programs but never the long-term carryover for postural control that I see when we address alignment and restore the relationship between the anticipatory muscle team and the reactive postural synergists in Dynamic Core for Kids. I think it’s great to have many tools in our clinical toolbox!