Happy New Year! Many children and adults with disabilities use iPad technology for learning, play and communication. The iPad is also a wonderful tool to help people of all abilities prepare for and participate in the High Holidays. For example, an iPad can be used in the following ways:

1. Drawing and photo apps can be used to create personalized new year cards to share or print.

2. Interactive greetings can created on an app like TinyTap and shared with those who have the app, or screenshots can be printed and sent.

3.Teaching holiday concepts and traditions. There are many apps in the App Store that can be used to become familiar with holiday traditions. Some of our favorites are featured below.

iShofar
A simple but wonderful app. By blowing into the microphone you can create the different sounds of the shofar (teki’ah, shevarim, teru’ah). The different sounds can be a bit complicated to create, but the app can definitely be used to work on blowing skills and the feedback is great. It works even if the blowing is somewhat weak. The shofar will also sound by touching the screen, making it accessible for children who have trouble blowing.

WakeUpWorld
This is an interactive story game for Rosh Hashana available both in Hebrew and in English. The central character tells the people and animals in her life all about the new year, and enlists the child’s help in doing so by asking them to blow on the shofar (into the microphone). The story is cute but is accompanied by background music that can be distracting. There is no option to turn it off. Despite the music, we still recommend downloading this app because of the shofar-blowing feature. As opposed to the previous app, in this one you choose the different sounds of the shofar by tapping the screen and then blowing into the microphone makes the sound you chose. It’s a great way to learn about the different sounds of the shofar.

We suggest you search the galleries in both TinyTap and Bitsboard for ready-made games and activities for Rosh Hashanah, or try making some yourselves.

The following games are those we created using TinyTap. They are in Hebrew and are appropriate for those with a basic understanding of the language. The games can be played both on the app and computer version of TinyTap. Once you download a game to your TinyTap app you can alter certain features to suit your needs, such as changing the recordings or deleting irrelevant pages.

חגי תשרי
Learn all about the Holidays of Tishrei with Chagi and his family.

סופרים בראש השנה
A basic math skills game for Rosh HaShanah.

Wishing a Happy New Year to our friends who are celebrating this holiday season!

Rachel Blum is a Speech and Language Pathologist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Disorders. She has been working at Beit Issie Shapiro since 2009. She provides therapy for children with complex disabilities and works to integrate and implement the use of technology in The De Lowe Early Childhood Center.