ABCMouse.com

Common Sense Media says

Ad-free pay site helps little ones get ready for school.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Learning is fun, and even young kids can direct their own learning in many ways here. Some parents may find the concept promoted here -- that learning progress is rewarded by earning points for shopping -- is a negative message.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

No ads appear on the site. Kids can earn "tickets" by completing lessons and trade them in for virtual objects (clothing, pets, etc.)

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The site collects personally identifiable information during registration, but does not share it with third parties for marketing purposes.

Parents can track their child's progress and review how many games in each category their child has played in each session, as well as overall.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that ABCMouse.com is a subscription-based educational website for kids age 2 to 6. This site is easy enough for even the youngest computer users to play games and do activities that will help them begin the journey into reading and other kindergarten skills. Kids earn points when they play games or complete an activity, which they can "spend" at a pretend online store. There are no ads or external links. The site, created by the founder of NeoPets, has been offered free to all public schools in the United States and Canada.  

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • speaking
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • subtraction
  • addition
  • counting
  • measurement
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • shapes

Arts

  • drawing
  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The colorful kindergarten-classroom homepage, learning zoo, and the interactive books and songs will appeal to young users. Most kids in the pre-K set will be able to find something new here every time they visit.

Learning Approach

Kids make their way through various learning paths, either pre-set or customized. Whether doing puzzles, playing games, or listening to songs, learning content is clear and covers a wide variety of topics. 

Support

Kids will likely need help navigating the site, which includes video clips to help teachers orient themselves. The activities could offer more help for kids who are having trouble. Printables offer offline extensions.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • naming
  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • speaking
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • subtraction
  • addition
  • counting
  • measurement
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • shapes

Arts

  • drawing
  • music
  • rhythm

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • academic development

Kids can learn the fundamentals of math and reading and are introduced to art, music, science, and social studies. The content ranges from recognition of letters, shapes, colors, and numbers for preschoolers to reading comprehension and measurement for kindergarteners. Kids can visit the farm or the zoo areas to learn fun facts about animals. ABCMouse also includes printable items for kids to practice tracing letters, identifying patterns, and more.  Engaging and customizable activities get young kids excited about learning and prepared for school.

This Learning Rating review was written by Susan Yudt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

ABCMouse is an educational website designed for preschool through kindergarten kids that costs $7.95 per month. Parents set up an account for themselves and up to three kids, who learn about numbers, letters, and other basic concepts as they make their way through "learning paths" of varying difficulty. After completing each activity, kids are rewarded with tickets that can be used to buy virtual items like pets or avatar upgrades. A combination of voice-overs, images, and text guides kids through the site.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ABCMouse -- an easy to navigate, colorful, encouraging site -- is an excellent way to introduce the youngest computer users to online learning. From the colorful kindergarten classroom homepage and learning zoo, to interactive books and songs, there are so many choices here that most pre-K children will be able to come back to this site and find something new to do and learn every time. Toddlers and first-time computer users will need help navigating the site, while navigation will be intuitive for kids who have already spent time on other popular pre-K sites. One of the most positive points here -- there are no ads directed at kids -- is somewhat dampened by the fact that learning here is rewarded by shopping, teaching a potentially unintended message.

Online interaction: Appropriately for this age, there is no direct online interaction with other kids. Contests are held for online coloring pages so kids can see other kids' work on the site.

Families can talk 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. Even the youngest children can understand that learning to read and learning to use a computer are skills that will help them grow up, and that parents are there to help them grow up smart, strong, and safe.

  • Discuss appropriate computer time limits with your child. Now is the time to set healthy habits; read Common Sense Media's Setting Computer Time Limits Tips.

  • 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 yours? Read Common Sense Media's Learning The Value of a Virtual Dollar.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Topics:Numbers and letters
Pricing structure:Free

This review of ABCMouse.com 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.

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written byCdub88 July 19, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Disappointed. Needs improvement.

ABCmouse sounded interesting, so I decided to register for my four-year old son. He really enjoys playing games on playstation, iPad and online (ie Fisherprice, Cartnoon Network). He also enjoys our own learning activities- we regularly do "homework", where he learns to read and write four to five-letter words, as well as math games, memory games, etc. I thought he would love this site. At first, it was neat to make an avatar that looked like him, and watch it move along the learning path, but it was way too easy. So, I took it to the next level...still too easy. ABCmouse apparently believes that math games for preschoolers should be counting to 10 and number identification. Dispite this, I let him carry on with the lessons. Later I noticed that there are quite a few "art" lessons, which was just frustrating. More than most, I appreciate the arts (my degree is in art, for crying outloud!) and I couldn't bare it. It was coloring pages, tons of them. The pointer had terrible delay for all coloring sessions and my son and I found it both boring and aggrevating. Maybe it's for some kids, but I don't see how coloring in line art could possibly teach anything to anyone. My son sees them as a chore. Why not put in an at-home craft activity, or have them look at actual art by real artists? After completing the "art activity", it wouldn't allow us to move forward unless we saved the darn thing. I customized the activities to exlude all coloring, but still, it just seemed so slow and boring. Games took so long to load, stories were slow and uninteresting, songs bored you to sleep. My advice is to save your money, download a few applications for your tablet or phone. If you can't do that, then check out Umizoomi videos at the library and check out a few beginner books. I can't say enough for the public library system. If you do have the ability to download apps for your child to use, I highly recomend Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for reading, Umizoomi Race Around the City for preschool math, any jigsaw puzzle apps for problem-solving, heck, there are tons of resources to keep your kid learning and motivated. ABCmouse just isn't quite there in terms of site layout, smooth navigation, and appropriate activities that will hold a preschooler's attention. I would have happily offered my suggestions when I cancelled, but they didn't provide a section to explain my issue, only a few boxes that gave you ONE option to check. If ABCmouse really wanted to improve their site, they should send a survey, or give parents a comment section.
Parent Written byacoll June 17, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Dishonest practices ...not really educational ...

Very dishonest company with regards to their billing practices. Even after you cancel the trial period as per their policy they continue billing and refused to refund charges. I cannot trust them with my kids.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 7 year old Written byconnie1976 September 16, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Kept Billing My credit card even after cancelation

We canceled our trial membership early because my almost 4 year old found the site too difficult to navigate. He had a hard time working the mouse and following their "path". The content was engaging enough for his 7 year old sister to navigate with him. You need a computer savvy 3-4 year old to get the most use of the site at that early age. Irregardless--I canceled my trial membership early, even got a "why are you leaving survey" and they kept billing me. For that reason alone, I don't trust this company.

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