Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Apraxia Therapy Materials: Kids Express Train Set 1 - Therapy Music

Therapy Materials Review: Kids Express Train Set 1 (KET Set 1)


This is a review of The Kids Express Train Set 1 (referred to from here on as KET Set 1 for short) created by Rachel Arntson, M.S., CCC-SLP. Rachel was generous enough to provide me with a complimentary copy of this set to review. At it's core, this product is music. It is therapy music. The KET Set 1 comes with two music CDs, a CD-ROM of therapy resources, and a manual.



Target audience

I'd say this music would be most appropriate for children between the ages of 12 months and 5 years of age. The music could certainly be listened to by younger and older children, but in a therapeutic setting I see it being used most with toddlers and preschoolers. There are always exceptions where the kit might be appropriate for older children.

The music and materials would be useful to therapists providing services in a clinic, school or home setting, and also to parents in the home. The music has a wide enough appeal that it could also easily be enjoyed in a preschool or daycare classroom as well.

Description of the Kids Express Train Set 1

This set contains two music CDs with 30 tracks. There are 25 unique songs with lyrics and 5 additional instrumental versions of some of the tracks. The set also contains a manual and a CD-ROM with additional materials. These songs are composed at a slightly slower rate and in a key that is high enough for young children to easily sing along. Adults and children are singing together and the cue, "Your turn." is built into each song. Each song provides many opportunities for children to imitate, often in sets of three repetitions. The topics covered by the songs and vocabulary used in the songs are accessible to young children.

  • Imitation Station - CD1 The goal of Imitation Station is to encourage verbal imitation through singing with music and rhythm. There are 13 songs on this CD. I will list the song titles and the primary therapeutic objective of each song. I will also link to a song sample when available.

    1. Express Train - taking turns talking
    2. Animals - animal sounds
    3. Puppy, Puppy, Puppy - actions / puppy sounds
    4. Noisy, Noisy, Noisy - making noises
    5. Monkey Song - vowels / actions
    6. Dump and Fill - concepts of in and out
    7. Owie - actions / common vocabulary
    8. Milk and Juice - foods and choice questions (Sample here. Scroll down a bit until you get to the KET Set 1 section to find song sample.)
    9. Baby Blowing Bubbles - words / phrases (Sample here. Scroll down a bit until you get to the KET Set 1 section to find song sample.)
    10. Put the Sound on the End - ends of words
    11. Barefoot Toes - two-syllable words/phrases
    12. Go in My Car - vowels and the word, "go"
    13. Bye, Bye - two-word phrases / common objects

    The manual provides a brief description and 2-4 simple activities for every song on this CD. The CD-ROM has .pdf files that provide additional resources all of which can be printed (in both color or black and white). Those resources are:
    • Lyrics for all songs.
    • A list of speech and language goals and the specific songs that can be used to address them. Some language examples include action words and motor imitation (tracks 3, 5) and daily routines and social stories (tracks 6, 7). Phonemic awareness is addressed in track 10. Some of the speech goals include noises and animal sounds (tracks 2, 3, 4) and vowels/vowel combinations (tracks 5, 12).
    • A song request sheet. This sheet is like a pictorial table of contents. You print it and the child can choose which song they want to hear.
    • Follow-along sheets. These sheets are single or multi page sheets with the lyrics and pictures printed out to help the adult/child follow along with the song visually and sing along. (Available for all tracks except 6, 7, and 11.)
    • Flashcards. Some of the songs have the images from the follow-along sheets blown up into flash cards. (Available for tracks 3, 10, and 13.)
    • Activity sheets. These are fairly simple activity sheets available for about half of the tracks. They are more like a visual prompt for an activity rather than a worksheet designed to be completed with pencil and paper.
  • Vocalocomotion - CD2 The goal of Vocalocomotion is to encourage verbal imitation through speaking with music and rhythm. There are 17 songs on this CD. The first 12 tracks are original (with one repeated at a slower pace) and the final 5 are instrumental only versions of a few of the first 12. I will list the song titles and the primary therapeutic objective of each song. I will also link to a song sample when available.

    1. Express Train - two-syllable combinations
    2. Hi - two-word phrases
    3. The New BMW - B, M, W in syllables (Sample here. Scroll down a bit until you get to the KET Set 1 section to find song sample.)
    4. Tongue Tip Time - T, D, N in syllables
    5. Let's Eat - foods
    6. Yee Haw - Animals / sounds
    7. Bath Time - body parts / bath words
    8. Hi - slow version - two-word phrases (Sample here. Scroll down a bit until you get to the KET Set 1 section to find song sample.)
    9. Row Your Boat - interaction song
    10. Put Them On - clothes
    11. Bouncy, Bouncy, Bouncy - interaction song
    12. Instrumental of The New BMW
    13. Instrumental of Let's Eat
    14. Instrumental of Yee Haw
    15. Instrumental of Hi
    16. Instrumental of Gonna Get You

    The manual provides a brief description and 2-4 simple activities for every song on this CD. The CD-ROM has .pdf files that provide additional resources all of which can be printed (in both color or black and white). Those resources are:
    • Lyrics for all songs.
    • A list of speech and language goals and the specific songs that can be used to address them. Some language examples include action words and motor imitation (track 12) and daily routines and social stories (track 7). Early emerging speech sounds in syllables are addressed (tracks 3, 4).
    • A song request sheet. This sheet is like a pictorial table of contents. You print it and the child can choose which song they want to hear.
    • Follow-along sheets. These sheets are single or multi page sheets with the lyrics and pictures printed out to help the adult/child follow along with the song visually and sing along. (Available for all tracks except 4.)
    • Flashcards. Some of the songs have the images from the follow-along sheets blown up into flash cards. (Available for tracks 2 and 8.)
    • Activity sheets. These are fairly simple activity sheets available for about half of the tracks. They are more like a visual prompt for an activity rather than a worksheet designed to be completed with pencil and paper.

How to Use the Kids Express Train Set 1

I think these songs can be useful in a wide variety of situations:
  • Minimally verbal children - use the songs targeting animal sounds to try to get verbalizations.
  • Children who are having difficulty imitating - music can often help you get children who are reluctant or unable to imitate in more structured therapy to verbalize.
  • Home practice - this is wonderful for the car, or during a music time at home. Children are getting in speech practice while listening to music.
  • Integrated intervention - If you are a school therapist doing any intervention in the regular classroom these songs would be ideal whole class activities.
  • Individual or Small Group Therapy - These songs could be used as the core of a therapy lesson. Choose one or two songs and design your lesson around the song. Play the song two or three times during the session and use the activity pages.

Pros and Cons of the Kids Express Train Set 1

Pros:
The music is a wonderful therapy tool. The songs address a wide variety of early speech and language goals while providing you with a completely different type of activity to do with children.

The kit is applicable to a wide variety of settings and situations. It can be used with minimally verbal or even nonverbal children, children with early language goals, and children working on early speech production goals (early emerging consonants, single and multi-syllable utterances, two-word phrases, etc.). It can be used in the home, in a clinic or private practice, or in the schools.

The songs are also really catchy and well produced. My children, husband, and I all genuinely enjoyed listening to and singing along with the music. The children listened to several tracks two or three times in a row at their request the first time we listened to the CDs.

Cons:
The set is a little pricey at $39.99, but it is a pretty reasonable cost for two full CD's of therapy music plus goals/objectives and activity suggestions for each song. You also get several printables for each song as well.

It could be easy to get caught up in the music and forget to focus on getting enough speech repetitions from the kids. Some of the songs are heavy on participation from the kids and some are light. You'll want to balance the fun and usefulness of the music while still being focused on getting enough actual speech productions from your students.

Bottom Line

I like the KET Set 1 a lot. I would definitely recommend it as a great therapy resource to have for your practice.


There is a coupon code for the site. It is for $5 off any order. The code is KET201102.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter has apraxia and we have had some GREAT success with these. She can say quite a few words from this CD. Definitely worth the money!

    ReplyDelete

Web Analytics