Our Favorite Apps

We bought an iPad2 a few years ago for P because we saw that at school he was doing things on the iPad that he would/could not do anywhere else.  Now the whole family is addicted and it is by far the best educational tool we have.

I try to get free apps when I can.  The site smartappsforkids.com has lots of free and reduced apps.  Momswithapps.com is good too – especially on Fridays.  What I usually do is go there on my PC and get them on iTunes if they seem like they are something we may use.  Then you don’t have to use the memory on you iPad unless you want to use the app that day.  If we are starting a new skill I look in my iTunes library to see what I already have for that skill.

We have hundreds of apps now, but here is a list of some of our current favorites:

For Everyone:
We all love the Kindle app.  Especially since you can usually download the first chapter of books before you buy them.
We also all love the Amazon Instant Video app.
A subscription is $79/ year, but it gives you many shows and movies (and you can play it on a Kindle Fire, iPad, PC and/or the Wii).  I play videos from here and ask Pablo questions about the videos for speech practice.  Since he picked the video, he is more interested and more likely to answer my questions.

For D (9 years old)
Talking Tom (They all love this annoying app!)
Angry Birds (I don’t get the appeal, but millions of users can’t be wrong – maybe)
BrainPop!  (Movie of the Day is free)
Crazy Machines (Think: Rube Goldberg machines)
Chicktionary (Fun Word Game)
Stack the States (Great for learning the states- lite also available)
States and Capitals Challenge
iAllowance AT (chores and allowance system)
Galaxies by Kids Discover (great app from a great magazine)
Maily: Your Kids’ First Email (kids email app you can monitor)
Robots for iPad (more info than interactive, but great if you like robots)
Notes! Learn to Read Music (good for supplementing music class)
Science 360 for iPad (lots of fun science info)
30/30 (Very useful for homeschool – to schedule your subjects.  He sets up his own schedule for himself here.)
Scramble word game

For P (6 years old)
****My Favorite Tip:  Use “Guided Access”
(triple click the home button) to temporarily restrict the iPad to the one app they are working on.

Visual Cue Lite (Great for preschoolers, kids with ASD, etc.) Even the free version can be customized with you own pictures.
Autism Apps (not actually for P, but for us to help him.  Here they have reviews of other apps that can be useful for kids with ASD)
Handwriting Without Tears: Wet Dry Try (Handwriting practice) (We use this stylus with handwriting apps)
Letter School (for Handwriting – probably his favorite EVER)
iBooks
(especially for interactive books)
Slate Math This is one of the most unique math apps I have seen so far.
Montessori Crosswords (spelling app)
Word Wizard (spelling app)
Doodle Buddy for iPad
Word Magic (spelling app)
Spelling City (spelling app)
Speak it!  Text to Speech (Simple AAC – just type and it speaks)
ABC Pocket Phonics (Reading and Writing)
Clean Up: Category Sorting
Leveled Readers from Learning A to Z
Base Ten Number Blocks (Great visual app for learning place value)
Meet the Sight Words (What could be more fun that animated words?)
Same or Different Game
Math Kid (we use it for simple addition)
Little Solver Preschool Logic Game (not that easy!)
Milo Speech apps (Great for a “pattern” thinker) We use the Verbs and Prepositions.
Sentence Key: Who is Doing What (Great practice for building “doing” sentences)
LAMP Words for Life  (AAC app) Caution: This app is $299 (Two HUNDRED ninety-nine dollars)!  It is by the people that make the Dynavox devices, so they have been doing AAC for a very long time and Pablo has learned it quickly.  Also, there are different levels – simple “one hit” for just starting out to the the advanced level that allows you to make more complex sentences.  Unfortunately, I have never seen it go on sale.

For R (almost 3 years old)
R uses a lot of the apps for Pablo, but she also likes these:
Another Monster at the End of this Book (with Elmo)
Alphabet Find Meet the Colors Flashcards (based on the DVD series)
Meet Biscuit (based on the books)
Pat the Bunny (based on the book)
Meet the Vowels
Meet the Letters
Conoce las Letras (Letters in Spanish)
Shape Builder (Puzzles)
PBS Kids Video (Pablo likes this too)
Pete the Cat: School Jam (based in the book)
PBS Kids

For Mom and Dad
FilmOn – There are some strange things, but I go right to the Live Local TV.  It’s like having another TV!
PBS for iPad (There’s always something good to watch on PBS.)
TuneIn Radio (Live radio from around the world)
Pandora Radio (for whatever kind of music you like)
Talkatone (lets you use your iPad as a phone for voice calls, voicemail or texts – with its own number through Google Voice)
Splashtop (access your desktop PC from your iPad)

The possibilities are endless!  If you have an app you love, tell me about it.  It is hard to keep up with all the great apps that come out each day. I hope to add to this list as we find more that we really love.

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