Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

138 Apps for Early Learning

early learning apps collage
Many apps (applications) are available to promote early learning for young children who are blind or visually impaired, including those who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities.  This is a partial list (part one of two) to help you get started.  The apps here help young children to develop basic cognitive skills, such as cause & effect and matching. They also help to reinforce eye-hand coordination, vocalization, and response to sensory input. These apps have been used specifically with young children especially those with additional needs, or have been chosen because the visual component is very clear and/or the auditory/sound aspects are of high quality and clear.  Many of these apps are particulary appropriate for children with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment).
 

Assessment

As you use the iPad more, the assessment of the child's visual and/or auditory abilities become easier.  We recommend that you begin with an assessment of the child, using these tools:  

For more information, see:  iPad, iPod, iPhone – iTechnology and apps that have been used successfully with individuals with deafblindness or with visual impairments and additional disabilities

 

Early Learning Apps 

The apps have been organized into the following categories.  Use this list to jump to each section, or scroll through the whole list.

 

Cause & Effect

Shapes Toddler Preschool App IconShapes Toddler Preschool

Colorful quizzes, flashcards, puzzles and games with positive reinforcement and fun rewards.

touch trainer app iconTouch Trainer

Great "first app" that teachers single finger fine motor skills as well as cause and effect while teaching about touch screen technology.

baby finger app iconBaby Finger HD

Touch screen app for babies with three modes: shapes and things, alphabet, and mixed.

peekaboo hd app iconPeekaboo HD

Toddler app containing both visual, verbal, and auditory cue cards to learn animal names in multiple languages.

ball tapper app iconBall Tapper

How many times can you tap it? Motor skills practice for all ages.

tap-n-see zoo app iconTap-n-See Now

First app for iPad and iPhone created specifically for children with CVI. Animals float around, tap them and it will make the animals come towards the screen.

live butterflies app iconLive Butterflies

App includes "the viewer" and "the game". The viewer "views" butterflies as if they were actually in the users view. The game allows users to "catch" as many butterflies as they can against a timer.

baby view app iconBaby View

This app encourage eye co-ordination and focus in babies in the formative months of their lives.

aqua magicAqua Magic

Makes iPad or iPhone screen look like the inside of an aquarium.

babytap hd app iconBabyTap HD

Just tap the colorful shapes to create cheerful sound and motion.

peekaboo barn hd app iconPeekaBoo Barn HD

Tap the barn doors to see what animals are waiting inside. Childred learn the names of animals and hear the sounds they make.

hatch app iconHatch

Virtual pet app. Grow a virtual pet by feeding and entertaining it with students who are visually impaired.

play phone app iconPlay Phone

Teach alphabets, numbers, colors, vehicles and about the students' family members while offering a unique feature that lets children learn about who is who in your family with a custom recorded voice.

toddler flashcard app iconsToddler Flashcards

Virtual flashcards for children 1-4 years of age in 9 different languages.

baby learns colors lite app iconBaby Learns Colors Lite

This colorful and highly interactive game will help teach children with visual impairments the names of 12 basic colors.

a bee sees app iconA Bee Sees

Happy, balloon popping bee helps children learn letters, numbers, and colors.

alphababy free app iconAlphaBaby Free

Kids can touch the screen to show and hear letters and shapes, flick them to send them flying across the screen, and press them and the letters shrink and grow.

balloonimals app iconBalloonimals

Balloonimals spring to life when you blow into the microphone on iPhone to inflate, shake device to construct a shape.

random touch Random Touch

Designed for babies and people with some forms of autism and special needs. Press the screen using as many fingers as you like to create a random object and hear a random sound.

animal fun app iconAnimal Fun

Children learn about animals by seeing and hearing the sounds an animal makes.

 

Matching

what goes together app iconWhat Goes Together?

Clear, colorful images of everyday objects promote an understanding of functions and the relationships between items that children encounter on a daily basis.

zoola match appZoola Card Match

Just touch the squares and find the matching pairs of images to improve concentration and memory.

music color lite app iconMusic Color Lite

Children learn about colors and listen to classical music at the same time.

ispud free app iconiSpud Free

Favorite childhood game, make your own potato head for iOS system.

little matchups app iconLittle Matchups

A fun matching game for children to learn about animals, fruits, vegetables and more.

line up! 2 app iconLine Up! 2

Block color matching game for all ages.

funny flash app iconFunny Flash Cards

Animated, moving, transforming, talking flash cards to help children learn about animals.

preschool memory match iconPreschool Memory Match

Classic game of concentration specifically designed to be fun and educational.

alphabets for kids appAlphabets for Kids (HD)

This app teaches Alphabets with sounds and by spelling each word with it's sound.

color slapps app iconColor SlapPs

Designed to help children learn to identify the names twelve different colors.

wood puzzle lite app iconWood Puzzle HD Lite

This game includes different puzzles to help toddlers and preschoolers develop key logic and fine motor skills. 

memory plus+ app iconMemory Plus+

Basic memory game on iOS device.

agnitus app iconTopIQ Kids Learning Games for Preschool and Kindergarten by Agnitus

Fun learning games for 2 years and up.

photo memory gamePhoto Memory Game

Photo memory game on iOS based on personalized photos.

memory app iconMemory!

Memory matches game with many different colorful and vivid pair cards.

kids puzzle play app iconKids Puzzle Play Lite

8-in-1 puzzle-style fun app for kids.

my a-z app iconMy A-Z

Alphabet flashcards with a personalized theme.

 

Sounds

I Hear Ewe app iconI Hear Ewe

When user taps on an animal or vehicle icon, the game will verbally announce what type of animal or vehicle it is and play a recording of its real sound. 

sound touch lite appSound Touch Lite

Tap a picture (animals, wild animals, wild birds, vehicles, musical-instruments and household items) and a real life photo of the item pops open, accompanied by the sound it makes.

baby rattle app iconbaby rattle bab bab lite

Conventional rattle as an iOS app, producing soothing sounds when tilted, inverted and rattled.

da soundboard HD app iconDa Soundboard HD

Selection of high quality sounds effects.

sound sorting app iconSound Sorting: Beginning Sounds

Students can either choose 3 beginning sounds or have the mobile device randomly choose 3 sounds for them.  Nine balls with pictures appear on the side.  Students must drag each ball under the picture that has that same beginning sound.

memodies app iconMemodies

Musical memory game for iOS.

marcus' discoveries HD app iconMarcus' Discoveries HD

Tap the squares to reveal the picture cards and hear the associated high-definition sound effects. 

animal melody hd app iconAnimal Melody HD

Cute animal sounds match with each piano key note shown and help children to see various animal characters, it also helps them to recognize each character sound correctly.

sound effects app iconSound Effects!

Sound effects to play on iOS app.

soundrop app iconSoundrop

Draw lines and watch as Soundrop uses them to create music.

kids sounds - moo box quiz appKids Sounds - Moo Box Quiz

This customizable educational game allows children to discover the sounds of animals, musical instruments, transport, toys, family, with picture and sounds. 

secret sound lite app iconSecret Sound Lite

Quiz / trivia app which allows users to identify the sound.

rhythm repeat app iconRhythm Repeat

Like the classic game Simon, follow the sequence of colorful buttons and repeat them in the same order.

tap tap baby app iconTap Tap Baby

Child taps the screen to play one of three games in this app.

 

Glow Art

glow draw! app iconGlow Draw!

Draw on a blank black canvas or on customized background with glowing lines.

art of glow app iconArt of Glow

Glow / light paintings, twinkle stars, fireworks and animated text art in one app.

i love fireworks appiLoveFireworks

Tap the screen and "fireworks" with sound display.

tic tac toe glow app iconTic Tac Toe Glow FREE

The original tic-tac-toe game played on a black screen with glowing lights and displays.

peg lights app iconPeg Lights

Classic game of designing artwork using "pegs" and lights on the iOS.

uzo app iconUzo - A Generative Design Playgound

Light spirographs on the iOS device in reaction to the screen being tapped.

fun fireworks - free app iconFun Fireworks - Free!

Tap the iOS screen and watch as fireworks burst into an explosion of color.

fluidity app iconfluidity HD

Fluid dynamics simulation, control fluid flow and stunning colours at fingertips.

glow beats pro app iconGlow Beats

Glowing lights correspond to the beat on this iOS app.

glowtunes app iconGlowTunes

This app combines light and sound to create stunning works of art.

forge of neon 3D app iconForge of Neon 3D

Bring glow painting to a whole new level with three-dimensional symmetries.

cosmic top app iconCosmic Top

An iOS app toy, a 3D audiovisual physics simulation of a spinning, wobbling, and sometimes morphing top.

real fireworks app iconReal Fireworks Artwork Visualizer

The most realistic fireworks app and an interactive visualizer that responds smoothly and beautifully to swipe gesture.

light box app iconCause and Effect Sensory Light Box

Designed for teenagers with autism, complex learning needs and a variety of sensory disabilities. It provides 21 engaging, abstract scenes which encourage exploration of cause and effect.

stardust app iconStardust

With touch, the stardust can be attracted into a gravity well and lead around.

selector app iconSelector

Spinning pointer to select one person out of a group using touch.

spinartx app iconSpinArtX

Spin the volume and start creating amazing shapes and patterns in seconds.

heat pad lite app iconHeat Pad Lite

This app simulates various heat-sensitive surfaces reacting to the heat of fingertips.

glow paint app iconGlow Paint

Painting app using glowing colors.

kaleido hd free app iconKaleido HD Free

All different sorts of effects on the iOS through this app.

finger paint app iconFinger Paint

Finger paintin with glowing colors on this iOS app.

sensory imeba app iconSensory iMeba

Visual stimulating app for people with special/complex needs of ALL ages.

 

Bubbles

tap tap bubble app iconTap Tap Bubble

Burst bubbles using just a tap on the screen.

taptapbubble HD app iconTapTapBubble HD

Release all of the bubbles by tapping the screen to get to the next round.

butterflies (FREE) app iconButterflies (FREE)

Butterflies fly by and  "land" on the users fingertips as they touch the screen.

pop art dots app iconPop Art Dots

Pick a color by clicking on a dot and create beautiful images.

bubble shooter appBubble Shooter Free

Shoot the bubble where you want it to go by tapping on the game board.

bubble breaker 2 (bebbled) app iconBubble Breaker 2 (Bebbled)

Pop the bubbles in 33 unique puzzle levels.

bubble blast 2 ! app iconBubble Blast 2 !

Burst bubbles to trigger a chain reaction in order to eliminate them in this puzzle game.

pop pop bubble app iconPop Pop Bubble

Pop as many bubbles as possible in 40 seconds.

balloons: tap and learn app iconBalloons: Tap and Learn

Teach students their colors, numbers, and animals in this interactive, colorful  game.

kaleido pro hd app iconKaleido Pro HD

Special effects app for iOS featuring fireworks, snow, fog, aurora, explosions, etc.

fun bubbles app iconFun Bubbles

Develop fine motor skills with full multi-touch support and custom backgrounds.

 

Spelling and Printing

phonics free appABC Cards - Word Family Writing HD Free Lite

Kids learn to read early by using Word Families by finding commonality among a set of words.

my word wall app iconMy Word Wall

An engaging app that helps beginning readers practice reading and writing skills through numerous activities.

little speller app iconLittle Speller

Help students learn to read, write, and spell words all with just the touch of their finger.

abc tracer free app iconABC Tracer

Comprehensive ABC learning app including showing how to write the letters with strokes in the right order on the traditional red-blue guidelines.

abc pocketphonics app iconabc PocketPhonics Lite

This app focuses on letter sounds, letter writing, and first words for students and children.

alphabet zoo app iconAlphabet Zoo

Teach letter-sound association with this iOS app.

sight words app iconSight Words: Kids Learn

This app combines fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension practice with entertaining, engaging graphics in a disguised-learning format.

kids keyboard app iconKid's Keyboard HD

Special keyboard designed for children.

spin spell app iconSpin Spell

3D mobile game that motivates children to learn to spell while having fun and improving their hand/eye coordination.

abc's writerABC's Writer

Trace the alphabet with fingers on screen.

abc phonics animals free app iconABC Phonics Animals Free

This app mimics and automates the use of flash cards, focusing on the alphabet phonetics, spelling, reading, and sounds.

alphabooks lite app iconAlphaBooks Lite

Simple stories app with striking photo-illustrations develop vocabulary and basic reading skills.

smart speller english HD app iconSmart Speller English HD

Interactive learning game was created by parents for parents to help their children learn to correctly pronounce and spell words and letters.

ultimate hangman app iconUltimate Hangman

Doodle hangman comes alive with this animated app.

touch and learn ABC alphabet and 123 numbers app iconTouch and Learn - ABC Alphabet 123 Numbers

Powerful gaming platform that introduces new concepts in a fun and exciting new way. 

abc 123ABC 123 Reading Writing Practice

Show students how to properly write all of the letters and numbers. 

alphabet hd iconABC - Magnetic Alphabet HD

Teach students uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, shapes, special letters.

spellingcity app iconSpellingCity

Combination of learning games for spelling and vocabulary.

The abc song app iconThe ABC Song

This application provides a place to learn basic concepts such and numbers, colors and more in an enjoyable and rich environment.

little reader app iconLearn to Read - Four Letter Words by Little Reader

Help children rapidly learn how to recognize and read words all with just the touch of their finger with this interactive app.

pre-k abc hd app iconPre-K ABC HD

This app helps children scaffold the concept of letters and spelling by tracing dashed letters overlaid with the unique Pre-K ABC color-coded starting dots and directional arrows.

first word sampler app iconFirst Words Sampler

Teach children about letters, how letters relate to sounds, and even how to spell words with this simple interactive app.

 

Talking

talking tom app iconTalking Tom Cat

Talk to Tom and he will repeat anything that is said in his funny voice.

talking tom 2 app iconTalking Tom Cat 2

Original updated to be even more engaging and hilarious for users.

talking gina app iconTalking Gina the Giraffe for iPad

Say anything to Gina and she will speak your words back to you the way only she knows how.

tap to talk app iconTaptoTalk

This app turns an iPhone™, iPad™ or iPod touch into an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.

talking tom & ben news app iconTalking Tom & Ben News

Talk to Tom & Ben and they repeat as news anchors on a TV screen.

talking larry app iconTalking Larry the Bird

Make Larry whistle along to everything you play – and share songs on Facebook or YouTube.

bla bla bla app iconBla | Bla | Bla

Speech therapy app on iOS.

talking bacteria app iconTalking Bacteria John, John & John

Talking Bacteria repeat words in a choir. Users can tickle them to make them laugh or poke them to get rid of the infestation.

talking pierre app iconTalking Pierre

He repeats after the user and makes up new sentences and he plays the guitar!

talking green hulkTalking Green Hulk

This is a fun and interactive app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Tickle the Green Hulk, poke him, or interact with him in several different other ways, including having him mimic everything you say to him using his own peculiar voice!

talking jimmy app iconChicken Story HD - Talking Jimmy

Jimmy is not just being equipped with talking function but with additional four entertainment function scenes: pushing the ice, eating popcorn, catching a small caterpillar, and panicking.

talking lady bug app iconTalking Bugy Lady Bug HD

Bugy is a pet ladybug, that responds to touch and repeats everything said with a funny voice.

talking cat app iconCat Story - Talking Honey

Honey Cat is a super fun and interactive character who needs to be rewarded when she's nice and punished when naughty, and when users talk to her, she'll repeat it back.

talking dodo Talking dodo HD

dodo is a boy who makes funny faces and repeats everything.

 

Music for Children

2-player xylo app icon2-Player Xylo

Musical instrument that lets you play a realistic-sounding xylophone with 2 people at once.

xylophone app iconEasy Xylophone

Play music on this realistic-sounding xylophone app.

virtuoso app iconVirtuoso

Virtual composer for iOS.

juno's piano app screenshotJuno's Piano

This musical learning app introduces users on how to play the piano.

baby's musical hands app iconBaby's Musical Hands

An app safe for children to use on their own while they play with musical buttons and sounds.

music sparkles app iconMusic Sparkles

This app brings a world of music to the fingertips, from piano, xylophone to electric guitar.

pianoball app iconPianoBall

This app encourages children to explore music and color in a creative way. Once the instrument is chosen, the stars will guide the user to play a tune.

piano hero app iconPiano Hero

Play the piano on an ios device with this app.

angel harp iconAngel Harp

Play with this app like it's a real harp.

tappy tunes app iconTappy Tunes

Enables users to play music without learning an insturment.

soundhound app iconSoundHound

This app listens to a song and identifies the name, artist, lyrics and album.

piano free with songs app iconPiano Free with Songs

Key piano with multitouch, adjustable reverb, metronome, dual row, completely resizable keys, real piano sound, chord support, glissando, sizable sharps, navigation bar, note labels, theme colors, sustain pedal, adjustable metronome, learn to play songs, and it's all FREE!

bagpipes royale app iconBagpipes Royale

This app includes four authentic sounding sets of Scottish and Swedish bagpipes.

pluto learns piano HDPluto Learns Piano HD

Find tons of notes and fascinating animals Pluto goes through the ocean in an adventure to master the songs.

harmonizer app iconHarmonizer

Play Shepard tones to an infant to teach them pitch identities and help them develop perfect pitch. Study chord relationships.

songify app iconSongify

This app turns everyday speech into a song.

bouncysounds app BouncySounds

Touching the screen accelerates the bouncy ball like an elastic band. Let go to get it to maximum speed, and it will randomly trigger sounds while it gradually slows down.

shazam app iconShazam

Identify music with this app.

 


To see more of Linda Mamer's lists of recommended apps for students who are blind, visually impaired, deafblind or who have multiple disabilities click here.


 

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Comments

Blue Tooth Accessible?

Posted by lovelady

Thanks for the help with these apps and data collection sheets. Are any of them blue tooth accessible for a switch?

Apps. Switch capable and other

Posted by Melissa Browning

Hi
I recently acquired a Bluetooth switch to work with my students. I found a list on enabling devices website.
Some I am using are:
Special stories
Big Bang
Sensory light box

Also, I just found a great "brand" this week for those who need photos on plain background. Look for Grasshopperapps.com and find the "photo touch" apps. They use bright photos on a plain white background and you can change the settings to the number of items presented from 1-10, add your own photos, and record your own praise. So far I love these.

Great suggestions!

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Thanks for sharing these ideas, Melissa!  We'd love to see an example of what you've created with Grasshopper apps, as well as more details about how it's working out with the BlueTooth switch.

Let us know at PathsTo.Literacy@Perkins.org if you'd like to share these ideas in greater detail. 

More Ideas for Switch-Accessible Apps

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Belinda Rudinger shared some great ideas for switch accessible apps:  http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/technology/tips-making-computers-ipads-switch-accessible

Apps

Posted by Adam's Mummy

I am the mummy of a totally blind 16 month boy. He is very brilliant and learns quickly. He is also very active. I have not tried any of these apps as yet but was wondering which ones would be suited for totally blind babies. Many of them seem to require some vision excpet the ones which fall into the music category. Does anyone with a blind baby have experience using the other apps?

Apps for young children who are totally blind

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Hi Adam's Mummy,

You're right that many apps required some vision.  Popular apps for babies or toddlers who are totally blind often have some kind of music, animal sounds, or other interesting auditory feedback.  Interactive stories and communication apps can also be fun, engaging and educational for young children

Some of our favorite apps for young children or toddlers who are totally blind include:

We hope that you and your son will enjoy these!