Starfall ABCs




Great, in-depth alphabet app with fun pictures and sounds.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There's a very simple tap mechanic that leads you through the various pages, with a helpful hand that points to show you where you're supposed to tap next. The tiny X in the upper right corner, which takes you back to the full alphabet menu, should be bigger.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Starfall ABCs is an in-depth alphabet-teaching app that works well for toddlers and preschoolers. The app presents each letter in a wide variety of ways -- visually, audibly, and within words and sentences. It also has some truly interactive bits that let kids solve mazes or spell words by placing puzzle pieces.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles


  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support


Offers enough task variety to keep preschoolers engaged. Interactive sequences are especially stimulating.

Learning Approach

Kids see spelled-out words and hear them sounded out. Games teach matching as well as lower- and uppercase letters. Mazes empower kids to make choices and spell words with puzzle pieces. 


Presents each letter in a variety of ways: visually, audibly, and within words and sentences.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles


  • listening

Kids can learn many prereading skills as Starfall ABCs goes letter by letter, first showing each in capital and lowercase and sounding each one out, then showing fun pictures (pepperoni pizza, pink pigs, puppies) while saying or sounding out words displayed below. Many letters have activities like matching the same letter or sorting capital and lowercase letters into piles. Starfall ABCs offers a good mix of prereading skills and enough task variety to keep preschoolers engaged.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carrie R. Wheadon

Kids say

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What's it about?

Kids will select a letter from the STARFALL ABCs main page and watch it make a grand entrance (Vs are vacuumed in, Ts come in on a train). The starring letter is sounded out, and three or four pages follow with objects that start with the letter (pink pigs, pepperoni pizza). Many letters offer games, matching up letters or selecting the letter that doesn't belong (F, f, or x?). Kids can also place letters in the right order to form a word and have it sounded out slowly. Silliness is mixed in to keep interest high, such as turtles playing tunes at the end of a train.

Is it any good?


Starfall ABCs is a very solid early learning app with a thorough approach to presenting the alphabet to preschoolers. Kids will hear the sounds of each letter repeated often and be able to both hear and see how each letter is used within words. There are some cute animations that can be triggered for each word, followed by interactive games (like puzzles and mazes), and chances to see words used in sentences. It's an attractive, colorful, and very in-depth approach to introducing the alphabet to young kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk about letters wherever you go. Find them in signs or put floaty letters in the bath.

  • Point out simple words in books kids may start to recognize.

  • Encourage a love of books with many trips to the library.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 21, 2011
Size:21.60 MB
Publisher:Starfall Education
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Starfall ABCs was written by

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


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; OK 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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 August 27, 2012

starfall abcs

to introducing the alphabet to young kids.


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