Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure

Common Sense Media says

Good selection of letter-themed mini-games for preschoolers.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main message: Learning is fun! The game is full of positivity, curiosity, and solid educational content.

Positive role models

Elmo and friends are sunny, positive folks who exemplify a love of learning.

Ease of play

The game controls are designed for use by children as young as three. Most mini-games only require one simple motion. Tapping on the touchscreen of the DS offers a bit more specificity of control than tilting the Wii remote left and right. The DS version comes packed with a chunky character stylus for little fingers to hold; the Wii version comes with a Elmo remote-cover that provides extra grip and covers unnecessary buttons. The PC version requires kids can move a mouse and click while using it. Some of the games get bogged down with uninterruptable repetitive instructions. A few make kids wait for the right answer to appear.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is a tie-in to the classic children's program, Sesame Street.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure offers numerous educational mini-games that help reinforce reading and letter concepts for preschoolers. The controls are simplified for very young children, but tilting the Wii remote might be a little more challenging for toddlers than simply tapping on a touchscreen, as they would in the DS version. On the whole, the controls work fine for all versions. However, some games make kids wait, which can get annoying. It's also worth noting that parents can set a play-timer, which will alert kids that they have "one more game" before turning off at the designated time.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • spelling

Math

  • patterns

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Communication

  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • spelling

Math

  • patterns

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Communication

  • listening

Kids can learn alphabet fundamentals -- part of the foundation for learning to read. By playing a series of animal-themed mini-games featuring their favorite Sesame Street characters, kids learn to recognize letters and the sounds they make. Plenty of hints help kids select letters based on their sounds. Bonus: they can also match patterns and colors. There's plenty of foundational preschool content here, though young kids may lose interest due to the game's slow pace.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

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What's it about?

In Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure, Elmo and Zoe visit the zoo. Their guide, a muppet named Chris, leads them through the various zoo habitats, introducing them to different animals along the way. As they visit each new area, they'll play a letter-and-reading-themed game with the animals. Some activities include tossing letter-labeled coconuts to monkeys, popping bubbles with letters in them, and scooping up letters while on an elephant ride.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure has been designed for use by preschoolers. It's bright and colorful; it has super simple controls (and the game comes with bonus items -- a chunky DS stylus or a character-themed Wii remote cover -- to make playing with tiny hands even easier); and it is fully voiced-over, meaning no reading is necessary for the instructions. And the educational value is undeniably solid. These cute games reinforce the same early-learning lessons that Sesame Street does on TV.

The addition of the play-timer, which allows parents to set the game to turn off after a certain point is very nice -- but it's even nicer that the timer gives the kids fair warning before shutting down, telling them that they upcoming game will be their last for today. A few of the games make kids wait too long before introducing the correct answer, and the characters can be overly chatty, but the game auto-adjusts its educational content and it has a great hint system to assure success.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fun of learning letters. How can learning these letter sounds help us when we're not playing the game? Why is reading important?

  • This game helps families set playing time limits. Why is it important to limit screen time for young children?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99–$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:October 19, 2010
Genre:Preschool
ESRB rating:EC for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, Windows)

This review of Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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