Sunday, October 6, 2013

Elmo Loves ABCs is a top app for preschoolers learning the alphabet

Bottom Line: Elmo Loves ABCs has stood the test of time for my 5 year old who has been playing it for over 2 years. It brings all the classic pieces of Sesame Street together in a playful, interactive manner. This app offers letter recognition, playful songs, informative videos and opportunity to showcase your child's creativity with simple coloring pages.



If you would like to download Elmo Loves ABCs ($4.99, iPad), please use this cute little link to show us your support. 



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No Ads, Yes In App Purchases, No External Links
 There is an In-App Purchase for a Seasonal Fun Pack for $0.99.


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Originally, we started with the lite version of this app.  It was free and my kids loved Elmo, so we gave it a shot. The lite version comes with only the letters A, B, and C. After a few days of my kids playing the app, singing the cute little songs and really begging for the rest of the letters, I felt it was worth the $4.99 investment.  I was right.

Each letter has videos, coloring pages and a simple search game. In order to get to the letter's extras the child first has to trace the uppercase and lowercase letter. This is not a handwriting app.  Each letter only needs to be filled in and the child is not penalized for sloppy lines or even just scribbling until enough of the letter is filled in like my son first did. If the letter is not written properly it just takes longer to get to the next section. Since my son has fine motor delays this offered an non-frustrating way to learn the letter shapes. As he got older, I would watch to make sure he formed the letters correctly.



The kids are able to choose any letter at any time. They are not forced to go in a specific order. Also, they can spend as much time as they like with each letter.  If a child wants to watch the video about Kermit the Frog getting an x-ray 12 times in a row, he/she is able to.

In addition to learning about all the letters, kids can press the star button on the bottom left to test their letter recognition.  The game-like quiz asks the child to select the uppercase, lowercase or picture starting with the letter sound from 4 given choices. My kids did not even realize they were being tested.  Parents are able to access a summary for each letter to see how their child is progressing.

Curious to see for yourself? Here is a great video demonstrating all the features:




There are in app purchases available for additional letter content or seasonal extras.  Having used this app heavily for 2 years, I have never found the need to purchase additional content, but it is there if you are interested.

If your child loves Elmo, this app is a great way to get them introduced to letters.  The songs are cute and engaging, and most importantly, I don't find myself begging the kids to plug in the headphones or play in a different room.

From iTunes:
Elmo loves this app! It has songs and videos about letters. It has coloring pages and games about letters. It has all the letters from A to Z! Elmo even made a new alphabet song for it. Elmo thinks it’s the best ABC app ever! Come on! Explore the alphabet with Elmo! (If you enjoy learning your ABCs, you’ll love learning your 123s! Check out “Elmo Loves 123s” in iTunes! )

Features
• Touch and trace your favorite letter to unlock its surprises.
• Slide, sweep, swipe, touch, trace and dig to discover over eighty classic Sesame Street clips, seventy five Sesame Street coloring pages, and four different ways to play hide and seek!
• Touch the star button to play letter games and see how much you’ve learned.
• Touch the music note for four versions of the alphabet song including a new silly Elmo song.
• Learn how to find your favorite letter stuff by identifying and making letters!
• Personalize by adding your own photos and videos to the game.
• ABCs tracker for grown-ups to see how your child is doing.
• Ability to purchase even more great letter content and holiday surprises.

Curriculum and Skills
• Letter identification (uppercase and lowercase)
• Letter sounds 
• Letter tracing
• Art and creativity
• Music appreciation

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Rachel H is the mother of two elementary age kids, the younger of which has Aspergers Syndrome. She is always on the lookout for apps that challenge and engage her children.

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