ABA Flash Cards & Games -- Emotions

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Flash cards are good for learning emotions; games just OK.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to identify emotions and place labels on feelings with the photo flash cards in ABA Flash Cards & Games -- Emotions. Kids can also expand their vocabulary by building a word bank of feeling words from which to draw upon to express their own feelings and empathize with the emotional states of others. Parents, teachers, and therapists can customize cards, so kids can practice specific emotions or categories of emotions that they need extra help identifying. The flash cards here can help kids learn to identify and express emotions, but the accompanying practice drills are pretty boring.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Kids simply tap the Play button and tap to view each flash card. The star button in the corner marks a flash card as a favorite, and the sound icon plays the audio for the corresponding word again. Some customizing options are available in settings, including the option to add your own words and images. Play (game) Mode offers eight different styles of play where kids are "tested" on identifying emotions and told when they give an incorrect or correct answer.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ABA Flash Cards & Games -- Emotions includes more than 200 flash cards with images for kids to practice connecting visual emotion cues like body language and facial expressions to written and spoken words. This free app allows users to create their own cards to add to the stock cards and to record their own voices on the cards. The game section is very basic and isn't as interactive as kids might expect of an app "game." Perhaps, more accurately, the games should be called "drills."

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What's it about?

In Learn Mode, kids can review different emotions before they practice with one of eight different drills in Play Mode. To view flash cards, kids press the Play tab. Cards include an image of a kid with a matching emotion word below the image. For example, kids see the word "Happy" with an image of a baby smiling. Kids tap the screen and the next card appears. Games include six different play options for matching emotions to different facial expressions and body language.

Is it any good?

ABA FLASH CARDS & GAMES -- EMOTIONS delivers some good practice for kids who need extra work on identifying and matching visual images to emotion vocabulary. However, the word "games" in the title is a bit of a stretch, as the games on this app are really just different versions of the flash cards along with practice drills. They're not very interactive and kids likely won't find them engaging or want to return to them often enough to get the repetition necessary for the concepts to sink in. Still, the app is worth a download for a few looks at the flashcards and games, especially since it's free.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Present the "games" here as practice (rather than games) to keep your kids' expectations appropriate.

  • Use the vocabulary from the app in day-to-day experiences to reinforce your kids' learning. Ask them to describe their emotions in different situations.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love expressing emotions and feeling good

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