Little Chatterbox for Kids

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
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Great intro to vocab in multiple languages, but has limits.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn new words in new languages. Through repetition, kids hear words multiple times in multiple contexts. Videos allows kids to also watch mouth and facial movements as native speakers say the new vocabulary words.

Ease of Play

It's easy to tap around the screen and be introduced to new words. Games appear automatically and play is straightforward.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The free download includes limited content. To access locked levels, parents must make in-app purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Chatterbox for Kids introduces young kids to 300 vocabulary words in eight different languages. Parents can set any of the eight available choices as the "from" language (aka, their kid's native language) and any of the eight choices as the "to" language. When kids tap on items in themed scenes, they watch and listen as kids name the item in both the "from" language and the "to" language. Games and multiple-choice activities pop up randomly as kids explore. Choose from English (British or American), French, Spanish, German, Russian, Hebrew, Mandarin, and Japanese and change your choices at any time. It's not available on all generations of iOS devices; check to see if yours is on the list. The free download allows access to one scene (Under the Sea) with 15-20 words. Buy additional packages at $3.99 for four scenes or $9.99 for all 16. 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.

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What's it about?

To get started with LITTLE CHATTERBOX FOR KIDS, set the native language and the language to be learned. Then, hand off to kids to tap around the screen showing a variety of scenes such as At School, The Human Body, Farm Animals, and Family Members. When kids tap an item, a window pops up showing a video of a native speaker kid naming the item in the learner's native language and the to-be-learned language. Interspersed throughout this free play are activities in which kids interact with the vocabulary words through multiple choice and matching games. There are 300 vocabulary words in all.

Is it any good?

As vocabulary apps go, this collection of multilingual high-use words is versatile and appealing even though it's also limited in what it can do. Little Chatterbox for Kids has some nice features, including colorful and whimsical graphics, and high flexibility in that it can fully function with any of the eight available languages set either as a base or as the language to learn. The videos of kids who are native speakers saying each word are also a nice touch that allows learners to not only hear the word, but also watch it being said. On the other hand, the potential for teaching kids a new language with Little Chatterbox for Kids is limited, just as it is for any app that focuses solely on introducing isolated vocabulary words. Without context, using words in sentences, or being asked to produce language themselves, kids can only go so far in learning a new language. Similarly, despite the handful of games, the learning experience is rather passive, as kids watch and listen to new words again and again. And there's not much variety in game type, so kids end up playing the same games over and over. All in all, in small regular doses, Little Chatterbox for Kids could be a nice option for a small part of what it takes to learn a new language.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the words included in Little Chatterbox for Kids. Get kids talking by asking them to repeat the new words they hear. Even better, learn the new words with them so that you can practice using new vocabulary together whenever the opportunity presents itself.

  • Round out the language learning experience. Read books, watch movies, listen to music, and learn about cultural events in the language to be learned.

  • Toddlers and preschoolers are very receptive to new language and will pick up on single words as well as the grammar of the other languages if they hear them frequently. If you're bilingual or are around friends or family who are, encourage them to speak to your child in another language from birth.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning new languages

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