I don’t have an iPad, but both of my kids do. While it may seem like the ultimate unnecessary luxury for children — and it is a luxury — I keep telling everyone I meet that it’s the best educational tool I’ve ever come across.
My kids use their iPads all the time, and most of the apps they are using are educational. From Jungle Time, an app that my 5-year-old daughter is using to learn how to tell time, to Rocket Math, an app my 10-year-old son uses to practice math, they are engrossed in learning thanks to clever developers who’ve created neat ways for kids to play and learn at the same time.
Parents and teachers of children with special needs are big fans of iPads as well. USA Today is reporting on school districts around the country that have purchased iPads for their special needs students this year. David Barry, superintendent of schools in Zeeland, Mich., explains why educators find them so helpful: “Video can be used to practice social skills. Speech recognition aids students who have writing difficulties. The touch screen makes use easy for children who have dexterity problems.”
[Make sure to read more to find out about the best apps for kids with special needs!]
Babble Top 50 Mom blogger Ellen Seidman of Love That Max, who recently hosted an iPad giveaway on her site, has heralded the benefits of using an iPad with her son Max, who has cerebral palsy. She’s a big fan of Proloquo2Go, an augmentative and assistive communication app that allows children to communicate using symbols.
If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of apps that are available, the website Support for Special Needs offers a list of iPad apps recommended by parents of children with special needs. Apple’s iTunes also offers free podcasts on special needs apps so that you can see how each application works and decide whether it will be right for your child.
And, if you’re interested in all sorts of cool iPad apps for your kids, check out Babble’s List of the 50 Best iPad Apps. You might also want to keep tabs on Cool Mom Tech, which continually reports on the freshest new apps for both mom and kids.