A Fabulous Learning App
With high definition video, little Elmo, the red furry monster from Sesame Street, appears to be alive inside your iPad. He uses his considerable charm to teach kids alphabet recognition, how to draw letters and, the sounds letters make.
How to Play
The app opens to Elmo appearing inside of rectangle framed with the letters of the alphabet. Elmo, who is fully animated, talks directly to your child. He suggests that your child select one of the letters of the alphabet on the frame. When your child taps on a letter, the fun begins.
Each letter has three videos connected to it to explain the sound that letter makes and show words that begin with the letter. For example, if your child selects the letter M, they can watch three videos about mouse, mountain, and milk.
In addition to watching videos with the Sesame Street gang about letter sounds, players can also select to practice drawing the letters through a tracing activity. A third option for play is to enjoy hide-and-seek games with Elmo. Elmo hides three objects that start with the letter sound and then the screen fills with objects that need to be moved -- such as leaves or balloons to pop with your finger.
Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad also gives preschoolers the opportunity to create art with a simple coloring program. And it offers several video versions of the "ABCs" song, including my personal favorite performed by Disco Grover.
Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad works so well for several reasons. First, Elmo makes your child's learning feel personal. Elmo looks directly out to talk to your child, and he appears to be tracking the finger movement when selecting a letter to explore.
This app makes great use of the iPad to enhance kids' learning. The abundant use of videos featuring Elmo and the other Muppets appear seamlessly throughout the app. Children will tap, draw, and swipe to interact with the alphabet-based activities. They can flex their creative muscles in the drawing activity; and reinforce their learning via music with the many versions of the alphabet song.
Another great aspect to this app is that parents can personalize the learning for their child. Families can create their own alphabet cards containing a photo, a video, a title, and a sound recording. Kids get pumped up when seeing their loved ones show up as in "G" is for Grandma!
Parents can track their child's progress from within the app in the Parents Section, which is appropriately behind a parental gate.
Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad is the perfect starter app for preschoolers just learning the alphabet. It is an easy fit for kids who watch Sesame Street, but it is also fun for those who don't.
This is an update to the Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad app review, which was originally published on December 23, 2011. Both the original review and this update were written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.