Clifford's BIG Birthday App Poster Image

Clifford's BIG Birthday



Birthday-themed literacy games good for emerging readers.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn basic literacy skills. The words presented in the activities are sight words and words that belong to common word families. These words may seem easy, but are essential for teaching kids to read. Presenting the words within word families can help kids' rhyming and spelling skills. For example, kids have to spell "bat" in one activity and then have to make other words that end in "_at." Although the activities are very short and the word list is limited, kids can play them over and over again to practice and review fundamental literacy skills.

Ease of play

Overall, the app is easy to use with clearly narrated instructions. However, there's a lot of wait time between activities. Also, in the skee ball activity, younger kids may have a little difficulty flicking the ball up the ramp, which requires a bit of force and getting used to in order to get it all the way up.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

This app is part of Scholastic's line of Clifford products including the TV show, books, and games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clifford's BIG Birthday is part of Scholastic's line of Clifford products and is a fun, educational game that helps kids build literacy skills. Emily Elizabeth and her friends guide kids as they help set up Clifford's surprise party and play some party games. Kids play skee ball while making words from different word families (for example, ­_ay and ­_eg) or spell words while popping balloons. Happy birthday, Clifford!

What's it about?

In CLIFFORD'S BIG BIRTHDAY, kids first help Emily Elizabeth plan a fun party for Clifford. They first decorate a cake and Clifford's doghouse with streamers, pictures, and more. To decorate each item, kids have to select a word to indicate their choice. Once they've surprised Clifford, there are three party games to play that involve spelling, word families, and word-to-picture matching. The more kids play, the more prizes they earn for their take-home goodie bags.

Is it any good?


Clifford's BIG Birthday is a great way to incorporate learning into a fun game. Kids get to make a lot of choices as they decorate the party, which can make them feel empowered and a little grown-up. The activities are fun, but there's no way to review kids' progress. In addition, the app takes a long time to load each activity. After every round, the app returns kids to the party room (even if they want to play the same game again), and kids have to wait while the next activity loads. Also, if kids want to go back to decorating the party, they have to start a new party and the party favors they earned will be lost.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids extend their learning using the words from the games. For example, ask your kids, "What other words rhyme with hay or bet?"

  • Let your kids help you plan a friend's or family member's birthday party!

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Subjects:Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, reading, spelling
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making
Release date:September 19, 2012
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice
Size:134.00 MB
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of Clifford's BIG Birthday 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.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

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.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byImnotateenbutgood October 3, 2012


What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012

cliffords big birthday

party favors they earned will be lost.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism