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Apps can be a helpful tool for young kids who struggle with self-control. Certain apps can encourage kids to think before they act, keep their emotions in check and stay focused on specific goals. Explore these options. For even more ideas, see Tech Finder.

Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on February 25, 2016. Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

166Found this helpful
Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings
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Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings

Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings can help kids identify and express emotions through fun games and songs. The app offers a bunch of activities. In one, kids can draw different feelings. In another, they sing about them. They can also step into a photo booth and pose for pictures showing different emotions. Each activity helps kids learn about emotions and strategies for how to handle them. This app from PBS Kids is best suited for very young children.

Price: $2.99

Available for: iPad

Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame
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Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame

This free app from Sesame Street helps teach self-control, planning and problem solving. There are five activities in the app: putting on shoes, saying goodbye to parents, fixing a block tower, waiting in line and going to sleep in the dark. In each, kids have to help a cute, animated monster calm down by breathing slowly. Then they pop bubbles to help the monster come up with a plan for the situation. The strategies often involve self-calming practices, like asking a parent for a hug. This app is best for younger grade-schoolers.

Price: Free

Available for: Android, iOS

Breathing Bubbles
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Breathing Bubbles

Breathing Bubbles can be helpful for kids who struggle with emotional control. Your child can press a bubble to “release a worry” or “receive a joy.” She then types in the emotion she’s feeling. If she wants to release a worry, she could type: “stop feeling sad.” The app would then guide her to breathe and let go of that emotion. This may be helpful for kids who have trouble managing stress. Breathing Bubbles is sophisticated enough for older grade-schoolers. However, kids with writing issues may need help using the app to type their feelings.

Price: Free

Available for: Android, iOS

Morning Kids
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Morning Kids

Some kids with self-control issues have trouble starting tasks and staying on task. Morning Kids is a digital visual schedule and planner that can make it easier and more fun for your child to get through her morning routine. The app shows a picture of a task, like getting dressed or brushing teeth. Once your child completes the task, she presses a button and moves to the next one. The app also provides rewards, like stars, or positive reinforcement. You and your child can customize the app to match her morning routine.

Price: $2.99

Available for: iOS

Tico Timer
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Tico Timer

Most mobile phones and devices have digital timers that display minutes and seconds. Instead of numbers, Tico Timer uses shapes to represent time passing. If kids set the timer for two minutes, they may see a slowly shrinking circle or squares that disappear. Tico Timer lets kids select the time, music and different kinds of timers. It’s good for kids who need breaks and time limits to help them wait or transition between tasks.

Price: $0.99

Available for: iOS

Zones of Regulation
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Zones of Regulation

This app is based on the “Zones of Regulation” curriculum, designed to help kids self-regulate and build emotional control. It focuses on four emotional zones: red (out-of-control emotions like anger); yellow (controllable emotions like frustration); green (calm emotions like happiness); and blue (down emotions like sadness). This app helps kids think about what zone they’re in and how to move between the zones. To play, kids create and name an avatar. Then they move around, answer questions and earn tokens. Kids with reading issues may need help with this app.

Price: $5.99

Available for: Android, iOS

Choiceworks and Choiceworks Calendar
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Choiceworks and Choiceworks Calendar

Choiceworks is a platform for kids who need support with executive functioning and social skills. The app covers three topics: schedules, waiting and feelings. Kids (or parents) can create visual boards for each. Your child could create a picture schedule of her day or a storyboard of what to do when she’s waiting or if she feels angry. A more advanced calendar app—Choiceworks Calendar—is also available. The apps can be purchased separately or as a bundle.

Price: Choiceworks ($6.99), Choiceworks Calendar ($4.99), both apps ($11.99)

Available for: iOS

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8 New Apps for Tweens and Teens With Learning and Attention Issues

A well-chosen app can boost your child’s learning or help her with a specific challenge. Here are eight new and recently updated apps for tweens and teens with learning and attention issues. Keep in mind that new apps are often released for iOS first, but they may become available for Android at a later date. You can use Tech Finder to find more age-specific apps.

Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on December 9, 2016. Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

6 Chrome Tools for Kids With Reading Issues

If your child has reading issues and uses Chrome, there are several tools that can help. Check out these six apps and extensions. (Extensions add functions to the Chrome browser.) These tools can be used on Chromebooks or on any device with a Chrome browser.

Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on September 21, 2016. Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

About the Author

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Common Sense Media, Understood Founding Partner is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology.

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Jamie Martin is an assistive technology consultant, specializing in finding AT solutions for students and adults with dyslexia.

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