Common Sense Media says

"E" is for an excellent educational app.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app keeps all letters on the screen at all times, though navigating from non-adjacent letters requires the user to keep their finger on the letter for several seconds -- more than young users are likely to be willing to wait.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that AlphaTots is an excellent tool for helping children learn the alphabet. Filled with creative and clever interactive activities, the app reinforces letters with interactive elements that are fun to do (such as assembling a building for the letter B or cutting strings for the letter C). Letters are sounded out and the app is easy for kids of virtually all ages to navigate.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning is transformed into a game, which makes young kids want to use this app again and again. Interactive elements are clever and engaging.

Learning Approach

Fun activities and repetition let children recognizing the ABCs not only by sight, but by their phonetic pronunciation as well. Letters are sounded out, letting children build their identification skills and recognize them in the "real world."


The app is patient with young learners and never discouraging. 

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Kids can learn their ABCs at their own pace, recognizing not only the letters by sight, but their phonetic pronunciation as well. They also hear words that start with those letters, which can eventually help aid them as they learn to read. AlphaTots makes learning the ABCs a fun experience, with activities that revolve around the letters and a near-perfect sense of pacing.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids tap on letters to get phonetic pronunciations of them, followed by a task using an action word that starts with that letter (for example, "add" candles to a cake for "A"). Kids can skip to other letters by holding their finger down on them for roughly four seconds. 

Is it any good?


Spinlight Studios, the developers of the wonderful number-learning TallyTots, turn their attention to the alphabet in this creative and educational app. Learning isn't something that's viewed as a burden, but rather transformed into a game, which makes young kids want to use this app again and again. All letters are always on screen, letting kids explore where they want -- and accessing the familiar A-B-C song is just as easy. The interactive elements, which kick in after pronunciation on the letters is made clear, are very clever and engaging. Navigating alphabetically is a snap, but if the user wants to jump from, say "A" to "Z," they'll have to press that letter for 3-4 seconds, which might be beyond the attention span of the target audience.

Families can talk about...

  • Magnetic letters are a fun, physical way for kids to interact with the alphabet.

  • Encourage kids to notice print in their environment. Help them spell words they see on signs or books, and let them know what word they've spelled.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Release date:May 18, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Size:26.10 MB
Publisher:Spinlight Studio
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of AlphaTots was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families