Elmo Loves ABCs

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Elmo Loves ABCs App Poster Image
Learn the alphabet with tracing, puzzles, videos, and songs.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 3 reviews

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 how to trace and recognize capital and lowercase letters with Elmo Loves ABCs. They can also learn beginning spelling skills as they hear letter sounds and begin to identify words or objects that begin with those sounds. Kids practice listening to Elmo's interactive cues and guidance. At almost every step, kids are empowered to choose which letter, object, and activity to play. A parents' section tracks progress and allows parents (or older kids) to add their own digital objects to the app. Elmo Loves ABCs offers preschoolers an excellent tool for practicing and reinforcing the alphabet.

Ease of Play

This app is remarkably easy for early learners to play.  Elmo gives oral instructions for play at each step. After a few seconds elapse without action, Elmo gives more clues for play, with some visual aids. Moving between game modes is easily done by tapping a star icon. In one game mode, the sound each letter makes is a bit mechanical and can be difficult to understand. The game modes do not vary in difficulty, and your progress is not saved upon exit. 

Violence & Scariness

Occasional accidents are implied by off-screen sounds during the video clips, such as glass breaking or a character falling down. One cartoon shows a mouse munching on the letter "m", which lightly kicks the mouse in retaliation.

Sexy Stuff

A shopping cart link from the intro page asks if you want to buy more games from Sesame Street. However, the "store lock" is enabled by default, and the lock must be turned off in order to visit the app store. Commercial characters are part of a franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Elmo Loves ABCs is an engaging, multi-faceted app for learning the alphabet. In one mode of game play, kids will choose a letter, trace it, watch three video clips about items that start with that letter, color in pictures of those items, and play a hide and seek game. In another mode of play, kids will identify a letter from a group (in uppercase and lowercase), hear the sound that letter makes, identify an item from a group that begins with that letter, and see the video for that item.  A music note link from the game page plays one of four video renditions of the alphabet song, including one version where Elmo invites you to sing along. These many features bring the app to a sizeable 600+ MB. Frequent instructions and encouragement are given by Elmo often during the game, which requires tapping and active participation throughout. Kids who can trace and identify letters can basically move through the game on their own. Learners before that stage will want more help from parents, while learners after that stage will find good practice and reinforcement, but not much challenge. A link from the main page gives the option of buying more games; but its default position is to be locked. Parents will want to keep the store lock enabled to prevent purchases. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnitaT March 16, 2013
Parent of a 3 and 4-year-old Written byboltzca00 March 22, 2012

We LOVE this app!

My boys, ages 3 and 4, love this app. They have learned letter recognition and shape from the tracing activity. I have other alphabet apps on the ipod and ipad... Continue reading

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Is it any good?

ELMO LOVES ABCS combines a collection of mini-episodes from the Sesame Street TV show with a variety of engaging interactive activities that are just perfect for preschoolers. Learning the alphabet becomes fun as your child actively plays with Elmo. This app uses many interactive aspects of alphabet learning including tracing, letter recognition, object association, and singing the alphabet song. The video clips give the app variety, and the two modes of play complement one another. Elmo's narration is positive and helpful, if a bit repetitive for parents. Kids who already love Elmo will love learning the ABCs with him.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Create your own digital items, starting with different letters to add to those available in the app.

  • Encourage kids to tap the star to go to the harder mode of selecting letters and objects, instead of tracing and coloring them.

  • Keep an eye on the available stats of your kids' use to see where they need encouragement or help.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool learning

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