Starfall ABCs

ABCs and phonics integrate with fun images, animations, and activities

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 29 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking, English Language Arts

Price: Free
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Web

Pros: Simple activities offer a solid understanding of the letters and their sounds.

Cons: There's no way for teachers to review which letters students have mastered, and the experience is relatively static.

Bottom Line: Great -- and free -- way to give students clear, engaging examples of the ABCs in action.

Starfall ABCs could be a great way to introduce your whole class to a letter of the day or week. Students can view the pictures and animations with you demonstrating the activities or calling on volunteers to complete them. Students also can work individually on teacher-assigned or self-chosen letters. They may enjoy copying the premise of Starfall ABCs to create their own pictures and songs to teach a letter to their peers, which would further reinforce learning.

Starfall ABCs is an app that introduces preschoolers to letter sounds and early spelling skills. Students select a letter from Starfall ABCs' main page and watch it make a grand entrance (V's are vacuumed in, and T's come in on a train). The starring letter is sounded out, and several screens follow with images of objects or animations featuring things that start with the letter (pink pigs, zigzags). Many letters are supported by games of matching letters or selecting the letter that doesn't belong (e.g., F, f, or x?). Students also can place letters in the right order to form a word and have it sounded out slowly. A silly tone keeps interest high -- for example, turtles play tunes at the end of a train. A separate grouping of vowels introduces some of the variety in vowel sounds. The menu on the side of the home screen lets kids also explore colors, numbers, shapes, songs, and seasonal activities.

Starfall ABCs is a solid early learning app with a thorough approach to presenting the alphabet to preschoolers. Students hear the sounds of each letter repeated often and can both hear and see how each letter is used in words. Each word has some cute animations they can trigger, followed by interactive games such as puzzles and mazes, as well as chances to see words used in sentences. It's a colorful, effective introduction to the alphabet. One potential downside is that the app presents only short vowel sounds, leaving out the variation in the full range of what vowels do in words. That's a difficult part of learning to read and write in English, and, like many simple early reading apps, Starfall ABCs does explicitly label the vowel sounds as being "short" but has no content to address any other vowel sounds. Also, the look and feel is a bit old-school and the activities are fairly static, but they get the job done.

Starfall's free website is well-respected for its learn-to-read activities, and the Starfall ABCs app is a streamlined way to access some of the site's content on mobile devices for free.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

The animations and sounds make relatively static activities more interesting.


Students see spelled-out words and hear them sounded out. Games teach matching as well as lowercase and uppercase letters. Mazes empower students to make choices and spell words with puzzle pieces.


Presents each letter in a variety of ways: visually, audibly, and within words and sentences. No teacher tracking tools.

Community Rating

Really nice!!!

Starfall ABCs is a nice way to get children to learn the alphabet. The site uses sound effects to help students understand the pronunciation of each letter and what words start with that letter.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

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