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"E" is for an excellent educational app.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

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.

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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'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
Subjects:Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, phonics
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:May 18, 2011
Size:26.10 MB
Publisher:Spinlight Studio
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byvickyneighborhood October 15, 2014

My four year old loves it

Very entertaining for my 4 year old.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use