Based on 230 reviews
Based on 22 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What Parents Need to Know
Don’t waist your time or money!
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What’s It About?
To use ABCMOUSE.COM, parents set up an account for themselves and up to three kids. Parents must enter credit card information to access the free trial. Through 10 levels of activities, ABCmouse.com is designed for preschool through second grade kids. Kids can choose activities from the main screen or the classroom, or they can make their way through "learning paths" of varying difficulty. Kids get tickets for completing activities that can be used to "buy" items for their avatar, their room, a fish tank, or a hamster track. A combination of verbal instructions, images, and text guides kids through the site. Content can be accessed on the web or via the companion apps, which are included in the subscription price.
Is It Any Good?
This educational site/app combination is loaded with activities and is encouraging -- but the uneven content, busy presentation, and reward systems distract kids from the learning activities. From the colorful kindergarten classroom homepage and learning zoo to interactive books and songs, there are so many choices here that will engage most pre-K and early elementary-age kids. There are also multiple ABCmouse apps that offer additional ways to interact with specific parts of the curriculum and are included with subscription.
Unfortunately, one of the most positive points of the site -- there are no ads directed at kids -- is somewhat dampened by the fact that learning is rewarded by shopping. Also, there's so much content that it may be overwhelming for some kids to choose from the variety of options, especially since simpler is better for little ones. Kids who need more direction can follow the "learning path," which guides them step-by-step to activities of increasing difficulty. Not all content is top-quality: Some is basic point-and-click, and then kids simply listen to the audio response, and the overall look and feel of much of the content is outdated. But other ABCmouse.com activities and books, including titles from National Geographic Kids, are thoughtfully crafted, interactive, and aligned with many fundamental pre-K, first grade, and second grade curriculum goals. There's also a rotating collection of original video series that get kids inspired to learn more. Parents can customize kids' learning level, time allowed, and more. They can also choose to navigate in English or Spanish, and there's a large collection of Spanish activities, though they're somewhat limited. Overall, it may be a great fit for some kids, and some of the content is strong, but it may not live up to the promise for all parents.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why it's important to learn to read, to learn other school subjects, and to learn to use a computer safely and responsibly. Decide together if ABCmouse.com is the right tool for your kid.
Discuss appropriate media balance with your kid. How long does it make sense to use screens? What does media balance look like for your family?
What is your family's view on spending "virtual money" on a site like this? It can be difficult for a young child to understand that this isn't the same as buying something real from an online merchant. Does your child understand the difference? Read Common Sense Media's Learning the Value of a Virtual Dollar.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, naming, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, speaking, vocabulary, Math: addition, counting, measurement, numbers, patterns, sequences, shapes, subtraction, Science: animals, ecosystems and the environment, life cycle, plants, weather, Social Studies: geography, Arts: drawing, music, rhythm
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, solving puzzles, Self-Direction: academic development, work to achieve goals
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid, Free (The site has a free 30-day trial; subscriptions are $12.99.mo./$29.95/6 mos./ $59.99/yr with optional add-ons)
- Last updated: August 20, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
Outstanding learn-to-read site sure to engage little ones.
HOMER Learn & Grow
Personalized early literacy program chock-full of choices.
Play mini-games for coins in multifaceted classroom.
Explore cute classroom for basic intro to preschool themes.
For kids who love preschool apps and games
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