Describe it to me Available on Smarty Ears Online

We are very excited to announce that we have added one more activity to our collection of games for Smarty Ears Online. This week’s new activity is called Describe it to me.

Describe it To Me is a fun, multi-level game that is added to help improve the receptive and expressive language skills in children and adults. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, Describe it To Me employs a game show atmosphere to engage clients in their learning while incorporating a variety of questions designed to help clients build a deeper understanding of everyday items. Designed to facilitate a deep semantic understanding, each picture stimulus has six (6) questions designed to probe and teach a deeper level understanding of these everyday items. In addition to teaching semantic knowledge to children, Describe it To Me can be used to facilitate rebuilding semantic knowledge in adults. Perfect for all levels from beginning categorization skills to deeper level language skills, Describe it To Me is sure to be a great app among online Smarty Ears Online games for the busy speech-language pathologist, teacher, parent, or caregiver.

The player whose turn it is will be indicated by their picture being larger than the other players with a large metal triangle pointing at the player. On the TV there is a stimulus image of an object that presents a challenge for the player to describe.

Each stimulus image has 6 different types of questions to elicit a description from the player that relate to the image:

  1. Category
  2. Parts
  3. Visuals
  4. Function
  5. Location
  6. Extra

These questions are displayed along the top of the screen with a golden droplet pointing at which type of question is being displayed. The question type can be quickly changed by touching a different type along the top. This allows for the opportunity to thoroughly describe each object from different angles before moving on to the next object.


On the bottom right of the TV is a switch with a “Receptive” and an “Expressive”. Moving the switch to the receptive position gives the student multiple choices while moving the switch to the expressive position leaves the question open-ended for the therapist, teacher, or parent to analyze the response. The ability of this switch to be able to be changed throughout the language game allows an easy way of providing scaffolding if a student is struggling too much at an expressive level by switching it to receptive, or a great way to add a challenge by changing it to expressive; overall it is a great addition to our games and helps in data tracking for Smarty Ears Online.


describe it to me app logo


!“This app is well thought out and engaging. The game show theme is versatile so it can be used with a variety of age ranges, great if you have students from different grade levels in a session. You can use it for individual therapy and with groups of up to 5. I was thrilled to see that the categories followed very closely with the format of the EET (Expanding Expressions Tool) so this app would be a great companion to that system if you use it in your room as well.”

“Great app, but may be best for older kids that can read (as I had to do for this second grader). Not a big deal, but if you were looking for an app that required independence with the younger crowd, this app would not meet that need.”

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Fun Activities for Expressive and Receptive Language Development

Children need to be able to understand the world around them and to express their thoughts about that world. Both expressive and receptive language development are crucial for proper communication and interaction with others.

What is Expressive Language?

Expressive language is what a child can communicate verbally or via alternative methods of expressions such as sign language or picture symbols.

What is Receptive Language?

Receptive language is what a child can understand that is said to them.

What are signs of a language development problem?

If a child has difficulty following directions, answering questions, engaging in conversation, or understanding gestures; they may have an expressive or receptive language development delay.

How does this affect their life?

They may become frustrated at attempting to get others to understand.

They may have difficulty participating in group activities or understanding compromises.

They may have trouble completing tasks.

How Can You Support a Child’s Language Development?

There are some easy ways to support a child’s language development to ensure that they can interact with the world around them and feel confident in doing so.

    1. Reading Picture Books With No Words

    Reading to a child can help develop language skills in a way that no other activity can. It also creates a special bond between the storyteller and the child and exercises both expressive and receptive language development.

    Take a book that has no words and ask the child to make up a story from what they see or you can model language by coming up with your story.

    Begin by telling a little about what is on the page and then ask the child to continue the story. You can use our free feelings resource to get the content. Be sure to give them a support if they get stuck.

    1. Filling in the Details Flashcards

    Show the child picture flashcards that you think they would be interested in. Talk about the pictures and if they give you vague answers like, “It’s a dog,” fill in the details for them by saying, “It’s a big dog.”

    Don’t have any flashcards handy? Jam packed with content the app Describe it to Me brings practicing this skill into a fun Game Show theme.

    1. Playing Robot

    Children love to know things so let them be the teacher for a while. Pretend that you are their robot. Tell them that you can only do what you are told. The goal of this game is to get the child to explain to you how to do things.

    1. Sequencing What They Did

    Take 3-5 pictures of the child doing an activity like putting on their shoes or washing their hands. Print the pictures and ask the child to put them in order of how they happened. This is easier than sequencing random events because they experienced the activity and can rely on memory for help.

    Are you not big into getting out the scissors and glue? Have no fear: the iPad app Go Sequencing has 50 built in real life sequences, and the ability to make your own with your own photos.

    Making Friends With Puppets

Often children with an expressive or receptive language development will engage with puppets when they are reluctant to communicate with people. Many children become eager to communicate with puppets and are much more apt to actively express themselves and listen as the puppets converse with them.

  1. Other Resources

One particularly fun yet functional resource for teaching expressive and receptive language development is the app Fun and Functional. It allows the child to try to guess the purpose of an object and then gives them the name of that object and allows them to express what they know about it.


Have fun with it, adjust to your child’s level, and don’t overcorrect you want to encourage the process not just the result.

Who knows? You might just find that when children begin talking, they never seem to stop.

Unlock the potential of all Smarty Ears games in one comprehensive platform

Access an ever growing data-driven library of learning and therapeutic activities for speech, language and communication skills.