ABC Spy app – Review

December 20, 2011


There are only 5 sleeps until Christmas and the days are starting to drag for impatient children, counting down the days until their eager hands are stuffed with presents, and their open mouths full of treats. What they need is a project to keep them busy, something fun which will also keep their brains occupied so they don’t turn to sludge through watching too many Cbeebies pantos. The ABC Spy app for the iphone or ipad is perfect to get their minds working, so they won’t have forgotten everything come January.

This is a deceptively easy game which utilises your phone’s camera. The children have to take a different picture for each letter of the alphabet. There are a series of trophies they can win for different accomplishments, such as getting all the letters. Once they have taken the picture it can be cropped, resized and moved around to make a better image. Then you have to write the name of the object. This is brilliant for spelling words. My daughter is four so I let her sound out the words as much as possible and helped her if she asked. I also encouraged her to retake a picture if it was blurry and to edit it if it needed it. Other than that I let her do this independently. An older child could do this completely on their own. It is a game you can revisit every few months and see how their learning is progressing using the parental controls.

This one needed a bit of help to spell!

I worry about too much time on computer games but if their is an educational element I feel much happier. This game practices lots of different skills in a fun way. These are the skills being practiced with this game:

  • alphabetical order
  • initial letter sounds
  • spelling
  • thinking skills
  • photographic skills
  • simple editing
Most of all it gives the child choice about what they will take a picture of.

At the end you can turn all the pictures into a video to watch. My daughter was so proud of her film and wanted to watch it again and again. It was so much more personal than a normal ABC video and was even set to music.  Here is ours. 

The app is meant for the iphone, and would be brilliant as a game you could play throughout the day, if you were going on a day trip, for example. We used the game on the ipad. You can adjust the image so it fits the larger screen and then it works brilliantly. In some ways a larger gadget makes it easier for a young child to take clearer pictures as they have a larger surface to hold onto. The image is also bigger so even easier to change and edit.

ABC Spy is a fun, educational game which is definitely worth £1.49 I would highly recommend it.

Disclosure: I was sent a code so I could download the app for the purposes of this review

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