Toca Lab

"Toca Lab" home screen.

“Toca Lab” home screen.

“Toca Lab” is developed by Toca Boca AB. In this app, you begin with a single element from the Periodic Table of Elements. You perform a variety of experiments to change the element into another element.  As you discover new elements, you begin to fill in the missing elements. This allows your child to experiment on the elements by using electricity, water, chemicals, spinning, heat, and ice. Depending on which type of experiment you use determines what the elements changes into.

"Toca Lab" Periodic Table of Elements screen.

“Toca Lab” Periodic Table of Elements screen.

It is $2.99 to download and has no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone and requires iOS 5.0 or later.

iPhone/iPod Link: Toca Lab – Toca Boca AB

iPad Link: Toca Lab – Toca Boca AB


Expanding Language

Expanding Language

“Expanding Language” is developed is Special Learning, Inc. It is a basic Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app. There are several categories programmed into the app: Food, Drinks, Clothing, Toys, Emotions, Actions, Activities, Body Parts, Household Items, Locations, Musical Instruments, Furniture, Plants & Trees, School Supplies, Tools, and Appliance. At the top of the screen, there are four emergency buttons: Help, Break, Sick, and Bathroom. Should your child want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, he or she can click on “Food,” then click on the picture of the grilled cheese sandwich, in which a voice will say “grilled cheese.”

This app is very customizable. On the home screen, you can click on “Admin”, answer a math problem (ex. 64 + 45 = __), and you enter the Admin page where you can have access to a lot of things. You can change the voice saying the words, the background, picture size, turn the picture label on/off, see reports to see what your child is getting right or wrong, add new items and categories, and more.

Also, the voices do not sound very . . . robot-ish. All four of them (a man, woman, boy, and girl) are clear and easily understandable.
It costs $39.99 to download and has no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and requires iOS 4.3 or later.

The Human Body by Tinybop

The Human Body by Tinybop

The Human Body by Tinybop is developed by Tinybop Inc. The app costs $2.99 to download and contains only one in-app purchase of $0.99 that is not mandatory. It is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires iOS 5.0 or later.

In this app, you can watch and interact with the body’s nervous, skeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, and skeletal systems. You can purchase the urogenital system (urinary system + genitals) for $0.99 as the in-app purchase. You can watch as the diaphragm contracts and relaxes to cause breathing, move chyme through the intestines, watch how blood flows through the heart, and move the femur to see how the head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum of the pelvic bone. You can even see inside some of the organs.

There are no images of actual organs/body parts, so it is not graphic at all, if that concerns you. This app is very safe for children and won’t gross them out.

I have found that this app has a habit of crashing every so often. I do not know if it is a bug in the app or not, so if you experience this, review the app and mention that it crashes. Tinybop updates the app eight times, so they should be working on the problem, if it is the app. Except for the crashing problems, this is a great app for children wanting to learn more about how the body works.

iPhone/iPod Link: The Human Body by Tinybop – Tinybop Inc.

iPad Link: The Human Body by Tinybop – Tinybop Inc.

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Buttons 2 is developed by Little Bit Studio, LLC. and is the sequel to their app Bugs and Buttons. It teaches children with counting, sorting, matching, shapes, body parts, their fine motor skills, and more. It costs $2.99 to download and has no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and requires iOS 4.3 or later.

One thing I prefer about this app is that you get way more chances to get an answer wrong. On Bugs and Buttons, you get three, four chances then the mini-game is over. On this app, you get around eight chances.

This app contains eighteen mini-games:

  1. Button Repair (match broken buttons back together)
  2. Flashlight Find (search for bugs hidden under buttons)
  3. Bubble Float (help a buttery trapped in a bubble float pass obstacles)
  4. Sort Factory (sort buttons based on color and design)
  5. Picnic Invader (tap bugs to stop them from stealing the picnic food)
  6. Button Count (count the buttons on the screen and choose the correct answer, does 1 to 20)
  7. Ant Herd (you must swipe objects out of the marching bugs’ way)
  8. Oddball (you select the button that is different from the others)
  9. Music Match (7 piano keys are used to play a tune, you must repeat it in the same order)
  10. Pond Jumper (a bug or button attempts to jump across a pond, you must move a lily pad on the water to help it bounce across)
  11. Button Match (match the button to the correct word; ex: black, blue, circle, yellow, purple, orange)
  12. RC Racer (you control a car and must avoid running into other bugs; your left hand controls speed, your right hand controls left or right movement)
  13. Letter Tank (you fill in the missing letter into its correct position in the alphabet)
  14. Guess What? (a bug draws a shape/number/letter and you touch the correct answer: G, 3, octagon, heart, 7, triangle, R, star, 9 etc.)
  15. Puppet Show (this a game of Simon-Says about the name of body parts; wrist, foot, nose, heart, hair, chin, knee, etc.)
  16. Defender (you use both fingers to stretch a rubber band over crossing bugs to protect them from falling buttons)
  17. Number Garden (as a bee, you have to follow the numbers in order and fly the bee to the flower with a 1 on it, then 2, then 3, etc.)
  18. Bug Crossing (this is like the old game Frogger where you jump a bug around moving bugs and across a river using lilly pads and logs)

iPhone/iPod Link: Bugs and Buttons 2 – Little Bit Studio, LLC.

iPad Link: Bugs and Buttons 2 – Little Bit Studio, LLC.

Feel Electric!

Feel Electric!

Feel Electric! by Sesame Street teaches your child about emotions and how to recognize them by looking at a person’s face. This app has three vocabulary games, a mood dude that can be customized to mirror your child’s mood, and contains fifty emotion vocabulary terms. This app is for children who are on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad.

Touch and Learn – Emotions

Touch and Learn - Emotions

Touch and Learn – Emotions by Innovative Mobile Apps teaches your child how to associate a facial expression with the matching emotion. You see four pictures on the screen as a voice says an emotion. You simply touch the correct expression. Then four new pictures appear and the voice says another emotion. If you choose the wrong image, it makes a small ding. There is no limit to the number of times you can get it wrong. It doesn’t go to the next question until you get the answer right. This app does emotions such as: celebrating, bored, mad, frustrated, curious, happy, upset, focused, worried, unhappy, and silly. I will say this about this app, sometimes, even for me, it is very hard to choose a correct answer. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases. It is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Shapes Touch and Write

Shapes Touch and Write

Shapes Touch and Write by Fizzbrain LLC teaches children how to write basic and advanced shapes. Some basic shapes are the triangle, oval, diamond, and square. Some advanced shapes are the nonagon, octagon, equilateral triangle, and decagon. It costs $2.99 to download and there are no in-app purchases. It is only compatible with the iPad.