Phyzios kids Paint – super app – a great way to develop an understanding of science

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iPad Apps to support your child at home

Apps for Learning
LEGO app – Free

ReactickesMagic. Super for developing iPad skills, cause and effect, anticipation, vocalization, etc.
Whilst on your iPad, Google ReactickesMagic and follow the link and install onto your iPad.


Make a noise or touch the screen to expand the shape. What happens when the shape gets too big for the screen?

Move your body or fingers from side to side to flip the colours of the background. What happens if you make a noise too?

Leave a trail of shapes with the path of your finger on the iPad or arms and legs on the computer. Try making a noise too!

Try to ‘touch’ the shape in space to reveal a new one in a new place or make a noise to change it’s position.


Keep making noise or touching to make the circles or shapes orbit. Which shape is going to come next?

Move your body or your fingers to have the circles follow. What happens if you make a noise?

Make a noise or touch to reveal another item in the grid. Change modes depending on what type of icon you’d like to see.

Touch or make a noise to change the whole screen.

Trace your movements by moving your arms and legs around. Try making a noise and see what happens to the shapes.

Broom, Broom
Broom- Broom - Again, hard to categorise, draw a line, this makes a road which cars and vans drive along.

PHYZIOS Kids Paint – SUPER app – a great way to develop an understanding of science.
Kids Paint (Phyzios) With this app you paint and draw with a finger- but then the painted things become free floating objects affected by gravity- so you can tilt and shake them or move them around on the screen to where you want them. You can also pour water into the screen, and add icons like the lorry below. The colours blend together too if they get too wet. A genius interactive drawing app that uses the iPads best bits.

KidsDoodle or Glow Draw

These apps could be used as a family activity – why not turn out the lights and try using them in the dark.
Glow Colouring – super for different times of the year. Use to create pictures for Valentines Day, Winter, Easter, Christmas or whatever you fancy.

Older pupils.
Bag Game

By all4mychild


Do you find yourself looking for an app that is more fun to play with others than alone? Then this is the app for you. A spin-off of 20 questions with more than 100 graphics, this app provides many levels of difficulty so people of all ages can play against each other – great for the whole family.

"Bag Game" is ideal for use at home to address:-Turn-taking-Impulse control because the “hider” can’t give away the answer while others are trying to guess-Thinking Skills because one needs to think about what others might be familiar with to keep it fair-Attending to other’s questions and guesses when played in a group It is also great for addressing speech-language goals, such as:-Categorization because all of the graphics are bundled by category, subcategories are also included-Verbal description skills in a fun and engaging way-Question-asking skills. Sample questions are even included in the app itself-Deductive reasoning skills when played like 20 questions-Other early reasoning skills; such as, same/different and salience by using the graphics alone-Short term auditory memory skills – making mental pictures Occupational therapists can use Bag Game for:-Visual scanning activity; when kids choose an item to hide-Visual memory challenge; it can be hard to remember the item that was actually hidden-Motor planning; kids act out the item they hide in the bag. It's especially challenging to add action to an immobile object (e.g. how would you act out a hot dog? Would you BE the hot dog or demonstrate EATING a hot dog?) -Representational drawing; kids choose an item to hide in the bag then draw it until others guess what it is

Let’s get creative!
Newtonica Player- Spin the central ball to make electronica tune start, then press the four buttons below it to add different sound effects. Easy way to interact and compose simple tunes, and age appropriate for older pupils.

Falling Stars-Great fun- touch to make lines appear, then touch raindrops that fall, loop and make a tune, very easy to compose a good tune. FREE

Falling Stars makes lovely sounds.

Alien Beatbox
Works in a similar way to Beatwave- Activate blocks by touching alien icons to make looped sounds, can get really annoying as the sounds are all arcade bleeps and blips, for the same reason the older pupils will love it.

MadPad (smule)- Excellent- records short audio/video clips and saves them automatically onto a 4 by 4 grid, replayed when touched. Create a family sound experience with instruments, everyday objects or vocalisations- very simple to use. 69p

MadPad short audio and video clips.

Augmented Reality
One thing which the iPad does that not much else can is AR- AR merges the real world with the digital, some use markers to print out, and when you point the iPad camera at them wonderful things happen in 3D that you can walk around, move closer to and interact with, some use your face for games, some make bunnies jump around or dragons fly around in the air. Print out the corresponding markers from the makers websites. Great for finding and tracking games or stories, or for being flashy. Also pretty much all free.
String- Free- really, really good intro to AR, dragon comes out of hole in wall, alien walks around, 3d shoe and a ‘draw in the air’ part. WOW factor! Get the 4 markers from

This miserable little chap will walk around your table, touch screen to tell him where to go!

Sensory Apps
Tilt- Sensory
We love tilt apps! Put the iPad on a lap, a leg, on an arm in a dark room, lots of ways to use the tilt response of the iPad with your child.
Music Ball- Free and excellent, touch to make balls, tilt iPad and which ever wall they hit makes different sound, then they bounce off and get a little bit smaller and quieter. Lovely tilting and touching sensory app.

Light Box
AMAZING cause and effect app.
General Literacy
Creative Book Builder- (£2.50 approx) really good for certain pupils - make books with text, photos and video. Really easy to use and a standard tool really.
Storykit- Simple book maker for Primary level pupils, introduction to other book makers.
Puppet Pals- (free) Drag characters into story frame, move them about, talk, and it records the whole thing for playback as a show. Can purchase extra characters for £2.99 but comes with dragon, witch, hero etc for free.
ToonTastic- Make cartoons- like Puppet Pals but the cartoon characters move legs and arms as you animate them.
Sock Puppets- Make short videos of sock puppet characters.
Bartleby's Buttons- Good interactive story with different settings.
Touch and Say- Interbots- developed for use with ASD pupils, colourful cartoon faces that say numbers, alphabet, sing, do emotions, make silly noises. Can picture ASD pupils exploring this for a while.
Aunty Maggies Recipe- Inclusive Technology- Add coloured potions to change a character into a monster, good intro to iPad and provides you with opporutnities to develop language and communication. Also familiar graphics from the PC Inclusive Programs which we use in Kilronan.
Five Sharks Swimming- Inclusive Technology- Count the sharks 1-5 with an annoying song to go with it.
Montessori Counting Board (Grasshopper Apps) - Count 1-10 blocks in any order, good for conservation of number skills.
Montessori Approach to Math- Hundred Board- Add numbers in order onto a hundred board! takes ages! Counts errors made also.
Learn Numbers- (gsix5 studio) Asks you to find a number (1-25) from a choice of 4, but numbers are photographs of real numbers in the community so useful for generalising and real life skills.
Math 3-4- Simple counting and number activities
Sorting, Matching and Shapes.
Build it up- visual sorting and matching activities. Free and paid version- get full.

Skewers- Copy food patterns on another skewer stick below it, that's what it does, age appropriate for older pupils.

Snakey- Match shape in a snakes stomach to the object, then he regurgitates it! Gives a readout at the end of what pupils have been successful with.

Sort it Out 1- Sorting and classifying objects into groups via strips- Transport, Toys, Foods, Shapes, Clothing etc. Graphics colourful but okay and not too babyish.

Clear Up Things- Tidy away toys into groups that get more and more difficult, from colour to shapes to function.

Match the Same- Matching photographs to colour line drawings of Food (free) Transport, Colours and Animals.

Ebo- Tallest to shortest sorting, pattern completing, etc with good graphics for Primary.

Puzzle Games- General skills- Shapes, Alphabets, Numbers and Colours. Primary Age.

Peeping Musicians- Inclusive Technology- Touch the musician as he pops onto the screen, then they play. Pupils will be used to the type of graphic from companies other programs on PC's.

Pets Boo- Find the hidden animals on the screen. Child graphics.
Plasma Globe- Touch balls as they enter the plasma globe, bit more advanced.
Numeracy- Time
Telling Time + - Age appropriate graphically and changeable clock reading app. Analogue and digital together.

Telling Time- Photo Touch Game- customize analogue clock faces, age appropriate, asks what clock shows what time, add own pictures and voice too.

What Time is it Mr Wolf?- Clock reading app, more for younger pupils, husky wolf voice and graphics.

Smarty Pants- Inclusive Technology- Characters which you can make angry, happy, etc. Good for talking over feelings at home.
Emotions and Feelings- Identify emotional faces and draw your own too.

Other stuff to try at home
Phyzios- This is so great. Choose the material you want from the bottom menu and touch or make lines on the screen to add it, and it behaves like the material- so wall and stone are sturdy, rubber is rubbery, wood gets burnt when you add fire etc. Also add taps to pour water, drains so it sinks away, pivots to make water wheels etc. The materials also tilt when you tilt the iPad. Great interactive physics…. How cool for siblings and friends to play this
Waterfall with stone, water tap and sink hole!

AdditionWiz – £0.99 – Useful app to test addition knowledge. Allows you to choose between adding 1 to 5 to any number up to 10.

Things That Go Together

ChoiceBoard Creator

ChoiceBoard Creator is the updated version of its predecessor ChoiceBoard Maker. It is the perfect app for creating customizable choice boards for the unique needs of individuals with communication challenges. It reinforces correct choice by expanding the selected image as well as playing the customized auditory rewards

Little Speller – Sight WordsFree – spelling app that has visual, audio hints which can be turned on and off. Also you can customise it to the students needs.

Somantics is a suite of applications that use touch, gesture and camera input to encourage, capture and amplify the interests of young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and other related communication difficulties. The overarching goal of Somantics is promote greater self-awareness, confidence and independence.

The following can be downloaded onto your laptops or computers.

Drawing with Sounds

A cause and effect application which draws bezier curves and ellipses depending where the mouse is on the screen. It also produces sounds when the shapes are drawn adding an audio stimulus to the visual one. Instructions are included in the download. This sketch requires the SoundCipher Library for Processing by Andrew R. Brown.

Drawing With

Here is the version that has been adapted to be used with switch users. The key commands are space and enter so make sure the switches are programmed for these keys. Can be used with one switch or two.

Drawing with Sounds Switch

iPads – Things To Consider
A picture is worth a 1,000 words Companies that sell apps are going to put their best graphic up to help sell their app. If all you see is a title or instruction page, chances are that the graphics will be awful. You’ve been warned. Most of the app pages include a link to the company website - check it out.

Check reviews The better companies will include a You Tube link so you can see how the app works. This is either on the iTunes page or on the company website.  If not, go to and do a search. Many people review apps there and you can see if it is something that would benefit your child. You can also do a general Google search.  An example search would be “ABC handwriting app review.”  Also make sure to read the overall rating and any reviews that are on the app page.

Try it Lite - Quite a few companies offer a Lite or free version of their app.  This may be the first five levels of a 40 level game app. Sometimes the difference is that the paid app shows no ads. Before buying an app, do a search to see if there is a lite version available.

Foreign apps Many apps are made by companies from other countries. You can tell by the name of the company or the type of graphics on the app. While this is not a problem for simple games, think twice about purchasing an app if there is a language or reading component.

High priced apps I would say that 95% of the apps for purchase are 69p. That means that if you find an app for £1.99, chances are there is a 69p app that does the same thing.  Special needs specific apps jump in price from £9.99 to over £100.  Before plunking down the money, check the company website in regards to support issues or email the company direct with your questions before making that purchase. In regards to communication devices, check the features of various apps as well as features of regular communication devices. Depending on your need, an app may be just enough for your child or you may find that he needs the full support and features of one of several high end communication devices on the market.

Apps versus online games. For all the talk about apps these days, you would think that you have no alternative but to plunk down your money and purchase an iPhone or iPad. But there are a lot of free online activities available too. If you'd like to see your options, go to the Games and Activities section at One Place for Special Needs where you can find both apps and online games.

Click on the link below to gain access to a list of potential apps!

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