5 Free Early Learning Apps For Children With Autism

The iPad is a popular tool for educators and for parents who are working on early childhood learning skills at home with their children.  But, without the right apps, how are you ever going to use the iPad to its full potential?  These five free early learning apps are just what you need to get started!  Any parent, teacher, or therapist who works with younger children on the spectrum will love these programs, and I encourage you to try them out!

5 Free Early Learning Apps for Children With Special Needs

This Free Apps List focuses on early learning apps for kids with autism, and these apps won’t cost you a dime!

If you’re looking to stay on a budget …. just enjoy the FREE portion of each app.

But, if you would like to expand the features of the free app, take advantage of the in-app purchases and upgrades!



App #1 – Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123 Free for iPad


farm jigsaw puzzles


Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123 is a beautifully illustrated app for iPad that is available in 8 different languages.  The free version of this app includes various difficulty levels, allowing kids to put together everything from 2-piece puzzles to 16-piece puzzles.

When your child completes a puzzle, the animal’s name is displayed and read aloud – fun!

Farm Jigsaw Puzzles 123 Free for iPad – Fun Learning Puzzle Game for Kids – GiggleUp Kids Apps And Educational Games Pty Ltd


App #2 – Mewow!? Jigsaw for Toddlers




Mewow!? has a unique take on jigsaw puzzles.  The app displays half of an animal’s picture, and tasks kids with completing the image.  The four small boxes above the bottom half of the animal show the upper half of four different animals.  Kids need to pick the right square in order to complete their animal and move on!

This free version comes with two different puzzle categories: Animals and Things.

Each category contains 15 different “things” or “animals.”

More pictures can be purchased through the app, so if this program turns out to be a hit with your kids, there’s more where that came from!

mewow!? jigsaw for toddlers – Totalidea Software GmbH


App #3:  What’s That Sound?


whats that sound?


What’s That Sound? is a great app for teaching young learners about the sounds around them.

This app plays a sound and displays a variety of corresponding pictures.  This way, kids can understand where sounds are coming from and get a better handle on what is going on in the surrounding world.

The child is asked to tap the picture that corresponds with the sound being made – what a cool idea!

The free version of this app only includes 10 pictures.  If you’d like to upgrade, which will give you 500+ pictures and sounds, you can do so through the $2.99 in-app purchase!

What’s That Sound? Sound recognition for toddlers and children – Totalidea Software GmbH


App #4 – Squiggles!


squiggles app


Squiggles! is a Parents’ Choice Silver Award Winner 2012 … and it’s FREE!  (There are no upgrades or in-app purchases needed.)

Kids can draw squiggles, tap GO, and watch their pictures come to life!

Lazoo: Squiggles! – Lazoo Worldwide, Inc


App #5 – Peekaboo HD


peekaboo HD


Peekaboo HD is a brightly-colored app that teaches children how to recognize animal names!

This free app includes visual, auditory, and verbal cues alongside each animal.  Peekaboo HD displays the animal’s name in order to help improve early learners’ reading skills.

This app is also available in both English and Spanish, something that I know a lot of people look for in early learning programs!

Peekaboo HD – Gotclues, Inc


*Please note that these apps were free at the time of this writing, but a developer can choose to start charging for the app at some time in the future.


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Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

My name is Jack Kieffer and I'm a blogger sharing my love of technology at blogs like Cool Gizmo Toys, Greenamajigger, and here at Autism Plugged In where I'm trying to make a difference in the lives of children with autism.

Several years ago, I began volunteering with special needs kids, who gave me much joy and an appreciation for life. This blog is my way of giving back. Any proceeds from this effort are used to support my friends with autism. Read more about Jack or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.