ABC Play App Poster Image

ABC Play




Fun tool for learning ABCs with sports videos, images.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is well-designed for small children, with only a few different places to tap and no way to get lost or misdirected. It is very easy to get back to the ABC screen, but children can also jump to another word by tapping a letter in a word.

Violence & scariness

There are some contact sports on the list such as wrestling and various forms of martial arts. Shooting is also included and has a photograph of a man holding a gun; the video is from the Olympics shooting competition.

Sexy stuff

The app is free of sexual innuendo and activity, however, some of the water sports do depict athletes in swimsuits and there are also photos and videos of sumo wrestlers who are wearing only the traditional loincloth.

Not applicable

There is a link to other apps by the developer. Also, since the videos included are from YouTube, some do include URLs for the creators of the video (though these cannot be tapped within the app).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that ABC Play is an entertaining educational app about all sorts of sports, from more traditional types like football and basketball to lesser-known sports like underwater hockey. The app links to YouTube videos that are curated by the Peapod Labs staff and are chosen to be interesting and safe for kids. The app teaches the alphabet using images and videos and allows kids to jump to new words by tapping the letters.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary


  • playing


  • sports

Engagement, Approach, Support


An excellent app for young children to explore the ABCs while watching entertaining videos and exploring links. The app is self-contained and doesn't present any settings screens, making it very kid-friendly.

Learning Approach

ABC Play is made to be fun and easy to use, and kids will learn about various cultures through learning about their sports. Kids can have full control of the app, so they feel empowered as they explore on their own.


Links to YouTube videos are curated by Peapod Labs staff, chosen to be kid-safe and interesting. It's well designed for small children, with no way to get lost or misdirected. 

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary


  • playing


  • sports

Kids can learn their ABCs and the names of different sports with ABC Play. The app has many photos of sports, organized alphabetically. Kids can see each sport's name and hear it pronounced. They can also tap on a letter to hear its name. Many of the sports also include brief facts about them, as well as curated YouTube videos of people playing the sports. Better feedback to encourage kids to continue playing would give the app a boost; a grown-up can offer support in that area if needed. ABC Play is a fun app that lets preschoolers control the experience.

This Learning Rating review was written by Jonathan H. Liu

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What's it about?

Kids playing ABC Play can learn the alphabet by tapping on letters and hearing them pronounced, and seeing words that begin with those letters. Also, they will learn about various sports by seeing photographs and watching videos of them being played. Each letter has several photos of sports beginning with that letter, and there are curated YouTube videos chosen of each sport, showing athletes playing or competing.

Is it any good?


ABC PLAY is an excellent app for young children to explore the ABCs. The app starts with a grid with the letters of the alphabet scattered across it, as well as at least one sport for each letter. Tapping on a letter brings up one of the words starting with that letter, or you can tap a specific word. Each word is accompanied by a photo, with the letters beneath held by little people, and a voice reads the initial letter and then the word itself. After a brief pause, the child can tap to watch a video about the subject. Tapping any of the letters held by the people jumps to a word beginning with that letter, and the process repeats.

It's a fantastic app that allows kids to learn the alphabet while watching entertaining videos and exploring links. The app is self-contained and doesn't present any options or settings screens, making it very kid-friendly. The videos are a great way to see the sports in action, and the photos (selected from Creative Commons licensed images) are nicely chosen.

Families can talk about...

  • Show kids how they can jump to another letter by tapping on any letter in a sport's name.

  • Provide your kids the opportunity to experience some of the sports in the app in real life. Even something as simple as bouncing or kicking a ball can help build gross motor skills.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:March 30, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Size:54.00 MB
Publisher:Peapod Labs LLC
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1.3 or later

This review of ABC Play was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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Learning ratings

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

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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