Every day, we are hearing more and more about the usefulness of iPads, iPod touch and iPhone applications (apps) for kids with special needs. We have been approached by many parents for a comprehensive list of special needs apps. Although it may be impossible to list every app available, the following resources are a great first step in finding technology that may be helpful for your child. Your therapist would be happy to discuss with you the best way to use apps with your child to ensure learning is occuring rather than simply play.
Please note: the Talk and Play Associates is not responsible for the accuracy of the listings, or the functionality of the apps on your particular system. Please read and follow all accompanying material. As always, exercise caution when downloading any new apps and insure that they are from a trusted publisher. Also note that although many of these listings are geared toward iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch systems, you may be able to find similar apps for Android and other phones.
Numerous apps listed, along with reviews and videos to demonstrate how the apps work. Video are produced from the user’s point of view so purchasers can see and understand how each particular app applies to them and their child.
The following are a few apps recommended by parents. If there’s an app that has helped your child, please share it with other parents by sending information to Talk and Play Associates.
- ABC Phonics Word Families – Helps teach kids learn to read by using word families (as known as analogy phonics) by finding commonality (i.e. short a sounds or long e sounds) among a set of words.
- Giraffe’s Matching Zoo – A vibrant and exciting mind development game designed for children, but fun for all ages.
- Giraffe’s Preschool Playground – Join Giraffe on a colorful, musical, and educational journey to learn ABCs, 123s, animals, explore music, and more.
- Interactive Alphabet ABC Flash Cards – Set the stage for reading success. Kids learn their ABCs through play when they make the ‘D’inosaur roar, ‘Z’ip the Zipper, and more!
- KidCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun – Teaches number recognition, counting and math to pre-schoolers, kindergarteners and elementary school aged children using flash cards and puzzle games, with engaging artwork, animation and voice-overs.
- Learn Sight Words – Over 300 sight words flashcards based on the popular Dolch Word List.
- Speak It! – A text to speech app.
- Tap to Talk – A text to speech app, also available for the Ninetendo DS.
- Teach Me Kindergarten – Teaches four different age appropriate subjects to Kindergarten aged children: sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling.
- Teach Me 1st Grade – A unique TeachTech character recognition engine interprets a child’s written answers, helping to reinforce writing skills while teaching math and spelling.
- Teach Me 2nd Grade – Teaches six age-appropriate subjects to second grade children: spelling, sight words, long addition, long subtraction, fast addition and fast subtraction.
- Toca House – A free play toy for kids that takes them through the everyday chores of a household. Cleaning, washing windows, deliver mail, taking a bath or mopping the floor.
- Toca Tea Party – Set the table, choose your favorite cookies and cakes, serve the tea and you’re good to go! Simply eat and drink with your finger!
- Toca Train -Time to get on Toca Train! Your kids are the train driver in this fun and friendly train simulator.
- Toddler Teasers Letters and Toddler Teasers Shapes – With a focus on simplicity and full voice overs, toddlers play and learn without the need for extra help. The app displays colorful quizzes and offers positive reinforcement and fun rewards.
- Tozzle – Puzzle app keeps your toddler entertained and he/she learns to improve shape recognition and motor activity.