Elmo Calls

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Elmo Calls App Poster Image
Favorite character delivers fun, supportive messages.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about identifying feelings and handling stress with the support of Elmo, who offers encouraging words in situations that can be scary for kids, like bedtime or going to the doctor. The variety of calls also allows kids to practice their letters or numbers with Elmo and learn about healthy habits such as brushing teeth and getting dressed. While role-playing the phone conversations with Elmo, kids can improve communication and listening skills. Elmo Calls offers kids supportive reinforcement, but the short messages and calls don't offer a deep learning experience.

Ease of Play

This app is fairly easy to use, but does take some figuring out. The main screen has "telephone" and "voicemail" tabs with three options for calls and two voicemail messages. They don't give specific descriptions as to what will Elmo will say on the call you're choosing for your child from this menu. Parents can swipe the parents tab at the top of the screen to access a list of all unlocked calls, in-app purchase options, plus a scheduling feature.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Many of the calls can only be heard once you buy the in-app purchase pack that features that call for $.99, such as the ABCs pack, the Sing with Elmo pack, and the Special Visits pack. You can purchase all calls at once for $4.99. A More Apps tab on the Favorites screen advertises six more Sesame Street apps. Elmo, of course, is one of the most famous characters of the Sesame Street monsters, so there's some branding on this app, too.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Elmo Calls mimics a smartphone's calling interface, allowing kids to get voice and video calls and voicemail messages from Sesame Street's Elmo. Topics of the calls include special trips like going to the dentist, the ABCs, and more. The app comes with a sampler of unlocked calls. Parents can purchase themed sets of calls for $.99 or all seven sets for $4.99. The main screen allows kids to get randomly selected calls, or parents can choose specific calls for kids from the parent section. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHollz622 February 9, 2021


The idea is cute... Let your little talk to elmo right? My main concern is the front camera shows my child as he plays just like a video call would. I get that... Continue reading
Adult Written bymaggie k. April 26, 2017


do not let your kids watch this it is sending the wrong message. Not everything in the world is happy and peppy.
Kid, 11 years old June 7, 2019

a mature version of elmo's world

elmo has a phone so you know what that means
call random people and do stuff
its good
Teen, 13 years old Written byGuyaonline October 25, 2018


Elmo is kinky

What's it about?

Kids can receive a randomly selected call from Elmo by tapping one of the buttons on the main screen, or parents can choose specific calls (and purchase more) from the parents section. Parents can choose to send audio or video calls and voicemails to iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, or set a timer for the message to arrive later (be sure to allow push notifications, or timed calls won't work). Parents can also add specific calls to kids' favorites list.

Is it any good?

As usual, Elmo is cute, positive, and supportive. Whether you're trying to get your preschooler to take a bath or feel better about going to the dentist, a call from Elmo is likely to help the cause. That said, ELMO CALLS doesn't quite live up to the simplicity or quality that's expected from five-star apps affiliated with the Sesame Street brand. The setup for optional features can be a bit confusing, and the app seems to be created for (and makes more sense to use on) the iPhone, rather than iPads or iPods. Additionally, many of the more helpful calls require in-app purchase. That said, the overall concept is fun, and Elmo's delivery is as sweet as ever.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Set up calls to help your kids with difficult situations. For example, schedule the "Going to the Doctor" call before their next checkup.

  • Use the app to help your kids establish healthy habits. If your kids need help remembering to brush their teeth, schedule the "Brush Your Teeth" call from Elmo at the same time every day.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love apps for young kids

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate