Cookie Monster's Challenge

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
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Clever mini-games help preschoolers practice key skills.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn and get lots of practice in focusing on a task, persisting through completion, listening to directions, doing things in sequences, problem solving, remembering rules, and exercising self-control. These are all extremely important school-readiness skills that can help kids be more successful learners. Pairing the digital exercises with offline learning extensions such as those listed in the parents' section can give an even greater learning boost. The games in Cookie Monster's Challenge are a great way to engage kids and hone their executive-functioning skills.

Ease of Play

Kids will easily get the hang of navigating the app. Much of the game is about following directions, so kids do have to pay attention.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Parents can tap to explore more apps by the same developer. However, the button is small, inconspicuous, and contains text only, so it's not likely to attract kids' attention. Parents also need to tap and drag the button to a specified location. Every once in a while, kids see an ad for other Sesame Street or PBS Kids content when they open the game. Kids tap on the ad to continue playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cookie Monster's Challenge is a collection of activities designed to stretch kids' non-academic school-readiness skills, such as problem solving, memory, self-control, and following directions. Kids need to understand English well, as much of the games are about listening to the instructions, all of which are in English -- or, rather, in Cookie Monster trademark speech. Tasks get harder as kids progress, and parents can make multiple accounts so different kids can progress at their own pace; this is important because kids should not jump in at an upper level since getting through higher levels sometimes requires remembering what happened at lower levels. Beware, though -- the games can be addictive: Kids need to finish an entire level to be able to save progress, and Cookie Monster gives lots of encouragement to keep playing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 5-year-old Written byvickyneighborhood November 27, 2015

great to teach pre-academic skills

It's a nice app that builds on the progress of the child and teaches pattern recognition, short term memory, and practice when not to press buttons. My son... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

Kids play games to help Cookie Monster build a cookie-delivery contraption. As kids complete each game set, they add a new piece to the machine and progress to the next level. With nine levels total and nine games in each level, kids get lots of practice with skills such as problem solving (which glasses fit on the three-eyed monster?); memory (do I press the red button or the blue one when I see the cat?); and self-control (don't touch that pig!).

Is it any good?

There are so many apps that give kids practice with manageable academic skills: letters, numbers, colors, and so on. Big kudos here to PBS Kids and Sesame Street for designing cute, clever, accessible, and irresistible games that give kids practice with equally important but harder-to-put-your-finger-on school-readiness skills such as short-term memory, flexible thinking, sequence following, and task persistence. Games get wonderfully more complex and build on each other as kids advance so that, for example, by Level 9, kids have to tap the red (not the blue) button when they see a cat in a hat (not a cat without a hat, and not Cookie Monster wearing cat ears on his head!). And activities sometimes rely on instructions given several levels below, so kids exercise their memory skills and get a holistic experience throughout the game. It remains to be seen how much this kind of practice can actually improve, for instance, kids' self-control. But, in the meantime, it's a delightful start.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about everyday life to round out the experience. Challenge kids in daily situations to problem-solve, think flexibly, remember and follow instructions, and more.

  • Provide kids with toys and games that challenge them to think flexibly and use reasoning such as Simon Says, I Spy, puzzles, and wooden blocks.

  • Take advantage of the great learning extension ideas offered within the app -- just visit the parents' section.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love apps for preschoolers

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