Cookie Calls

Common Sense Media says

Messages from goofy blue guy are both silly and helpful.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids simply tap a green "Answer" button to answer the call and tap a red "End" button to hang up. Parents can swipe the parents tab at the top of the screen to access a list of calls, in-app purchase options, plus a scheduling feature that is easy to use and allows parents to schedule specific times for calls as well as weekends or weekdays.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are four messages from Cookie Monster included with the $.99 app purchase. Otherwise, all other call topics require in-app purchases ($.99 for one/$2.99 for all). A "More Apps" tab is included in the parent section that links to other Sesame Street apps sold in the App Store. Cookie Monster is one of the central characters for the Sesame Street brand, so some branding is inherently tied in to the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cookie Calls is just like Elmo Calls, in that it lets kids get (pretend) video calls and voicemail messages from a beloved Sesame Street character -- in this case, Cookie MonsterParents can choose when and what message they want Cookie Monster to leave on "voicemail" or say during a video "chat." There's a nap time message, healthy eating tips, addition, and more. Four messages are included with purchase, and parents can access more messages with in-app purchase of $.99 per message or $2.99 for all.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • counting

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding

Skills

Communication

  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Cookie Monster's fans will love his silly jokes and messages. Some kids may get frustrated if they try to speak to Cookie Monster because he doesn't respond or stop talking to listen to them on the "call."

Learning Approach

After kids listen to Cookie Monster's messages about healthy habits, the lessons he promotes may transfer into good decision-making in real life. Unfortuantely, all the interactivity here is one-way, from Cookie to kids.

Support

Parents can add specific calls to kids' favorites list. There are four messages included with the app purchase. All other call topics require in-app purchases.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • counting

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding

Skills

Communication

  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet

Kids can learn a little about living with healthy habits, counting, keeping nap time, even a bit about the French culture from the assortment of message topics provided by Cookie Monster on Cookie Calls. Kids can also work on their listening skills as they listen to Cookie Monster's video chats or voice messages (though parents may have to coach kids on why Cookie Monster isn't listening back during video "chats"). Kids can learn about making good decisions from silly video calls on Cookie Calls.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Parents swipe a tab at the top of the screen to access a list of all calls, to schedule calls, and to purchase more. On the main screen, kids can choose one of three calls to hear immediately. Parents can add specific calls to kids' favorites list. Kids simply tap the green "Answer" button when the phone rings a red "End" button to hang up.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

COOKIE CALLS features some of Cookie Monster's signature slapstick humor with silly jokes and messages typical of the blue monster. The feature that allows Cookie Monster to leave a message about nap time or other healthy habits is easy to setup and may help reinforce family rules for little ones (although many of the more helpful calls require in-app purchases).

Even though the app is set up to make it appear that kids can do video chats with Cookie Monster, there's no way to actually do that. As a result, some kids may get frustrated if they try to speak to Cookie Monster, and he doesn't respond or stop talking to listen to them. Even if its features may over-promise and under-deliver a bit, Cookie Calls can be a useful app to motivate, teach, and delight Cookie Monster's preschool fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to your kids about how, while they may see themselves on the screen with Cookie Monster, they cannot really chat with him and have him listen.

  • Set the timer settings for your kids to receive a helpful call at the most useful time, such as nap time.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99
Release date:December 17, 2012
Category:Kids Games
Size:45.40 MB
Publisher:Sesame Street
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Cookie Calls was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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, okay 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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