If I was starting from scratch this is the $10 iPad app setup I would push for in my classroom.
Teach Me Kindergarten- $1.99 This app covers many of the basics. It has great options to customize the content
My Story Book Maker- $1.99 Great book making app for the price. Add pictures, text or drawings as well as record audio for each page. Not my favorite book making app but a great one to start with.
Alien Buddies- $.99 This app works on the basics (shapes, colors, numbers, letters) I have used it a lot for kids that need more support in the class. Fun way to practice .
Sound Sorting- $.99 Great app for beginning sounds
Here are FREE apps
Rocket Speller- FREE I use mainly for letter ID but the kids do pick up basic spelling as they play. Class favorite!
Educreations- FREE White board app that records screen and voice. Uses are unlimited. Sample lesson here
Toontastic- FREE My favorite storytelling app. Sample lesson here. You only get basic characters and backgrounds but it is still valuable. The $10 everything package is well worth it once you start using. So many great character and backgrounds and they are always adding more.
Sock Puppets- FREE The app itself is free but the ability to save the finished project was an in app purchase ($.99) when I first got it. Not sure if that has changed. More info here
Daisy the Dino- Free Introduces the very basics of programming to kids. My class loves this app
Rover App- FREE This app allows flash to work on your iPad. The app is not perfect but overall I find it very useful
Doodle Buddy- FREE Drawing app
Alpha Tracing- FREE There are better apps for fine motor (look here) but this free one is a good start
ABC Magic Apps- FREE Many great apps, I use several of them.
Matt is a Kindergarten teacher in Texas. You can connect with him on his blog