iPad Apps for Special Needs Children

iPad Apps for Kids with Special Needs, Part II

Three years have passed since Apple first revealed the iPad in April 2010. In that short time, four major product updates have been released, the smaller iPad Mini was introduced, and countless apps have been added to the app store. Since it has been a few years since our original iPad Apps post, we felt it was time to create another! Here is a list of twenty of our favorite iPad apps for kids with special needs.


ConverstaionBuilder ($19.99): Directs children on how to interact with their peers in a variety of situations. Children will learn skills involving conversation flow, including how/when to introduce themselves, ask questions, and provide input. Perfect app for helping children develop relationships with their classmates.

Smart Oral Motor ($5.99): The ideal app for children experiencing difficulty with their oral motor skills. This app includes 15 exercises, which provides extra practice for children to improve basic functions such as speaking, eating, and even smiling. It also includes animations and other information.

Model Me Going Places 2 (Free): Teaches children how to navigate situations in everyday life using slideshows of locations and appropriate behavior in those situations. Sample situations included are: restaurant, doctor, grocery store and more.

Dexteria ($3.99): Improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness with this set of hand exercises. An added bonus is the ability to generate reports which can be shared via email to track progress. There’s also a “Jr.” version available for children ages 2-5.

P.O.V. – Spatial Reasoning Skills Development ($2.99): Help develop your child’s understanding of left and right, math, and mapping skills with this clever app designed for children ages 8-18. It teaches principles such as space, time, perspective, and even geometry and geography.­ Like Dexteria, this app also generates reports for ease of tracking usage and progress.


ShapeBuilder ($0.99): This app allows children to move overlying shapes (think jig-saw puzzles) onto outlines of final images. After all the shapes are put into place, the image is revealed and spoken (by a licensed speech therapist!). Encourages cognitive thinking and fine motor skills.

First Words( $1.99): The child touches a picture of on object, which is categorized into one of eight subjects. The object is then magnified while the word is both displayed and spoken. Great for children to…well, learn their first words obviously!

Star Walk HD ($0.99): This one is really something…it essentially turns your iPad into a planetarium! Point the iPad towards the sky, and the app will display the constellations, planets, and satellites in their correct place from your location. Also includes a calendar of celestial events so you’ll never miss once-in-a-lifetime occurrences.

iWriteWords ($2.99): Super fun way to learn and practice handwriting.

Zoo Train ($1.99): This train-themed game teaches one of five subjects: letters, words, music, patterns, and shapes. Children can also build train engines and plan track routes.

Park Math HD ($1.99): Math. It’s a struggle for many kids (and adults for that matter!). This app combines math with one of their favorite places: the playground! It teaches counting, addition/subtraction, patterns, and more. Three levels are offered: Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade.

The Opposites ($1.99): Children match up pairs of opposing words to complete levels in the game, with each level more difficult than the last. Also includes a dictionary/thesaurus written specifically for this app to help along the way.


Glow Tunes ($0.99): Use both light and sound to create sensational works of art. Choose an instrument, draw some art, press play and watch your masterpiece come to life!

Color My Name ($0.99): Kids love seeing their name on things. This app allows children to put their name directly on every page of a virtual coloring book! And it’s not just limited to use within the iPad itself. You can also email and print the black-and-white pages to color with crayons!

PianoBall ($0.99): Encourages development of musical skills by combining colors with popular children’s songs. They can also create their own tunes!


Crazy Face LTE (Free): Talk into the iPad’s microphone to move the monster’s mouth & eyebrows. Sure to generate many giggles!

Machine World ($2.99): Have a kid that loves heavy machinery? This app lets children operate equipment like cranes and excavators to build roads and buildings.

WeetWoo! ($3.99): This app is really great for parents of children that love to watch videos, but wish to filter out the inappropriate content on popular sites such as YouTube. WeetWoo handpicks each video allowed within the app to ensure that it is suitable for younger viewers. Videos are then arranged into playlists according to age. How convenient!

Roodie Noodies & the Slippery Pole (Free): Weird name, fun game. It uses the iPad’s tilt controls to balance the characters (aka, “Roodie Noodies”) on a slippery pole across Belly Button Bay. Of course there are additional obstacles along the way.

Where’s Waldo? in Hollywood ($1.99): Digital form of the classic Where’s Waldo? books, Hollywood-style! Search for Waldo in various Hollywood-themed settings including red carpet events and movie sets.

Well, that’s our list. Have any to add? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Courtesy of flickingerbrad

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