Saturday, March 24, 2012

iPad app: More Cookies!

More Cookies App
More cookies (free for a short time, usually $0.99) from iTunes

What it is: Bake virtual cookies using a recipe or "pre-made" dough; add ingredients, mix, cut into shapes, bake and decorate. If you want you can save your creations to your album, email them, or "eat" them. With the recipe option you choose the type of cookie you want to make, and then drag ingredients to a mixing bowl (with extra steps like cracking the eggs) and then swirl your finger to mix the dough. With "pre-made" you also get to choose the type of cookie, and with some you have to roll out the dough and cut it in to shapes, and with others just drag pieces of cookie dough to the pan. With both options you have to lay the cookies in the pan (if you're not careful how you lay them out, you may not fit them all) and then bake them, followed by decorating (you have a ton of options for icing, sprinkles, candy, fruit/nuts, and weird stuff).

Here is my creation for the purpose of this blog: it was a pre-made version of sugar cookies, cut into bunny shape, with yellow frosting, purple sugar sprinkles, and gummy brains!! What, I'd totally eat it!!

How we can use it in Tx: The most obvious way to use this is as a direction-following task. The app provides some of the directions (add ingredients, mix, roll out dough, cut into shapes, place on pan, bake, decorate...) and we can provide additional ones that can also be more open-ended (frost with any of the choices, add some sprinkles and a couple of candies, or more specific like "add two nuts and 3 candies"). Some sequencing can be implemented in the decorating part.

Reasoning can also be involved in requesting a batch of cookies appropriate for, say, a holiday that occurs at the end of October. Access to the "weird stuff" for decorating (things like bacon, jalapenos and fried egg) opens up possibilities for question/answer tasks, decision making, and explaining why to use or not use a particular ingredient.

I think I can even get some memory work out of this app: the "from scratch" option shows recipes for the cookies. One needn't remember the amount needed of each ingredient to play, but a pt could be asked to look over the recipe, and for example remember how much vanilla or how many eggs were needed; then when the cookies are done and decorated delayed recall could be assessed.

Even scanning and sorting can be addressed by decorating a cookie with a lot of different things and one weird one, and asking the pt to search for the it or count how many marshmallows there are, or something similar. Decorating the cookies and laying them out in a pan to bake can address visual field neglect deficits.

For an extra bit of fun I would save pictures of the virtual cookies and print them for the pt, especially if the cookies are "prepared" for an upcoming holiday.

Goals we can target in Tx with this app: Direction following, sequencing, memory, question/answer, reasoning/problem-solving, scanning.

Some specific examples:

I give some ideas in the "How we can use it" section above, but here are some more specific examples:

1. For sequencing and/or scanning goals: Create a cookie with 1 of one topping (say, 1 marshmallow), 2 of another (say gummy bears), 3 of another (chocolate chip), 4 of another and 5 of yet another. Ask pt to list the toppings in order of how many there is of each from lowest to highest.

2. For memory (immediate, short term, delayed or spaced retrieval) goals: Start with the making cookies from scratch option, and while scanning the recipe tell the pt to remember how many total ingredients were needed (or how many ingredients that add sweetness to the recipe there are). Tell the pt that after the cookies are made and decorated you will ask for this information (or, if you're working on spaced retrieval, ask for this information as soon as you move to the next screen, then with each next step and again at the end).

3. For direction-following goals: In the "from scratch" option where ingredients are added to the bowl one at a time, ask the pt to add all the dry ingredients first and then all the wet ones.

4. For problem-solving/reasoning goals: Give a scenario that involves an occasion (either a specific holiday, or the time of year for one so the pt has to figure that part out first, or another type of occasion) and ask the pt to decorate cookies for that occasion, choosing the most appropriate shapes and colors.

5. For visual field neglect goals: Work on spacing the cookies on the pan before baking, making sure the whole pan is used (you can bake up to 12 cookies at a time, so ask the pt to fit all 12 in... this would require extra care). Draw attention to the neglected side of the cookie, and make sure it is decorated the same as the strong side. Or request specific differences between the two sides to require attention to both (e.g., make a gingerbread man and frost the left side of his body one color and the right another).


  1. Hey there,what do you think about using it for a barrier task for the patient to lead you in the task? I am investigating new and innovative ways for a patient to integrate word retrieval and motor production with her AAC device. Thoughts?
    signed your favorite SLP-E (the E is for "extraordinaire"! ;)

  2. I likey! Are you thinking of using two iPads, and having the pt communicate steps and choices to the clinician, so the clinician can do the same on the 2nd iPad? Then can compare resulting cookies... Kind of cool to combine the use of AAC device with iPad too... one is for communication, one is for Tx and playing. Thanks my favorite SLP-EEEE (E is for extra x3)!