A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Products & Purchases
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).
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.