A Parent's Review of the Elmo Calls App

Updated on February 4, 2020
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Beth raised her children on Sesame Street and now enjoys sharing its valuable content with her grandchildren.

An Educational App From Sesame Workshop

Elmo Calls is an educational app capable of allowing your child to have mock video calls with one of the world's most beloved Muppets. It is published by Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit with the mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. If you haven't discovered some of the great apps for babies and toddlers, there has never been a better time to start.

Basic Info

  • 1M+ downloads
  • Rated E for everyone
  • Appropriate for children 5 and younger
  • Has more than 8,000 reviews
  • Responsive support
  • App is monitored and updated

What the App Offers

Elmo's video calls helps children from around the world achieve important milestones. As an adult, you will be delighted to see your little one smile and laugh as they converse with Elmo. You can also rest easy because the app's content is built to reinforce important first experiences, such as bed time, bath time, and going out to eat. Plus, it delivers content to stimulate the mind, such as the ABCs and other songs.

This is an amazing app you will find meaningful to you and your family. Think of it as an essential learning tool for babies and toddlers.

More About Elmo and Sesame Workshop

It's funny to think that Elmo was originally meant to be a background character. He was created in 1979, but by 1980, he was already center stage. Even after 40 years of love and laughter, he is still here to enlighten children. Sesame Workshop itself has been going strong for more than 50 years.

Engage your child in learning with Elmo Calls, a mock video call app.
Engage your child in learning with Elmo Calls, a mock video call app. | Source

Getting the Most out of Video Call Packs

Elmo Calls has both free and paid content for Android and iOS. While the free videos can be hours of fun, the app becomes a powerful learning tool when you purchase the call packs. You can buy individual packs, but the best deal is to buy the entire collection as a pack itself. For under $10, you can gain access to the entire collection. This is a high-value app.

What the App Helps Teach

  • Letters, numbers, and reading
  • Holidays
  • Visiting friends and relatives
  • Songs
  • Going to the doctor
  • Birthdays
  • Getting dressed, brushing teeth, and other forms of self-care
  • Feelings
  • Car trips
  • Bedtime
  • Getting along with a sister/brother

No Accidental Purchases

The app is super easy to use, but it also has a secure parent portal that your little one won't be able to access. This lets you rest assured there won't be any accidental purchases.

The Money Goes to a Nonprofit

Not only can you get Elmo's help with bedtime, bath time, going out to eat and more, you know that Sesame Street Workshop, a nonprofit, will use the money to help all children.

It's incredible how technology improves the quality of our lives. With apps like this one, parents have access to specific content that can be used to provide individualized learning aids to fit the needs of your child. More and more parents are learning how apps can enhance brain-building in young children.

How to Use the App

When you download the app, access the free video calls. When you open a mock voice call, the main screen shows Elmo. The first time you engage a call, you might be asked for permissions. The app needs to access the camera. Then, a second overlapping window opens where the child can see themselves; basically, it will look like any other video chat. After you approve permissions and check out the parent portal, you're ready to let your little one go to town with this app.

Elmo Video Calls Your Child

Elmo will begin speaking with your child, leaving pauses for your child to respond. Elmo always has positive advice to give, spoken in a way that helps your little one understand. This creates a fun learning atmosphere that engages the mind. Parents have maximum control over content to make sure it is useful for your child.

The best part is that there are lots of videos that address real life situations—you know, those situations that can sometimes become difficult. Need to take your child to the doctor? Enlist Elmo as backup. Your child has difficulty with bed time? Let Elmo help soothe your child. Elmo can be a voice of reason for your little one, and you know professionals created this content to really build a healthy mind, body, and soul.

App games, such as Elmo Calls and other Sesame Street apps, can help babies develop their brains.
App games, such as Elmo Calls and other Sesame Street apps, can help babies develop their brains. | Source

More About the Parent Portal

The Elmo Calls app is most constructive when parents familiarize themselves with the calls. Most kids already know who Elmo is, making him a friend-type character. Best use begins with allowing kids to try the more playful calls. Start with letters, numbers, and songs. The connection that your child builds with Elmo will open the door to using the app to enlist Elmo as backup for the more difficult learning lessons.

What You Can Do in the Secured Parent Portal

  • Save favorite calls
  • Monitor recent calls
  • Schedule calls
  • Sync each learning lesson with real life

When you schedule calls, you have control over the content. Does your child have a doctor's appointment coming up soon? Then schedule the Visiting the Doctor call. Elmo will have a great conversation that will help remove some fear about the whole thing. Is your child having trouble behaving in the car on long rides? Then schedule the Car Trips call so that Elmo can help equip you with language that helps the child understand what is expected.

Those are just two examples of how you can use the app to help you and your child find the right language for maximum comprehension. You can schedule a call about bedtime just before bedtime. Or schedule the Going Out To Eat video beforehand. Use the app as a behavior modification tool, and you will watch your child thrive.

This app is great for busy parents of all types. Sesame Street never discriminates and always teaches about kindness and compassion. This lets you feel secure that your child won't be exposed to any unsafe material.

Early learning with apps is fun for playtime, and it's also a way to grow emotionally and mentally.
Early learning with apps is fun for playtime, and it's also a way to grow emotionally and mentally. | Source

Sesame Workshop Apps

Sesame Workshop, the developers of Elmo Calls and other apps, is a BBB accredited charity. The profit form their apps is recycled back into the programs so that it can be used to help more and more children. The scope of the charity is worldwide, meaning that the little you spend on these apps will help kids from all over the world

In 2019 Sesame Street Workshop celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 2020, it advanced its worldwide education initiative by developing content in Arabic, and making apps available to children in the Middle East.

Sesame Street Workshop, makers of the popular Sesame Street seen on PBS and Online, operates in at least 150 countries. This is important because if give all children an opportunity to be exposed to different types of content. These children get an edge up because they have a stronger foundation to begin their education with. Not only do they learn letters and numbers, they learn about relationships and kindness.

More Apps From Sesame Workshop

  • Elmo Calls
  • Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame Street
  • Elmo Loves 123s
  • Sesame Street
  • Sesame for Military Families
  • Sesame Street for Divorce
  • Sesame Street for Incarceration

A Mother's Opinion on Sesame Street Apps

I don't work for Sesame Street, but I raised my kids on them. Back then we didn't have apps, and the website was in its infancy. PBS was our best source for this valuable content. My grandkids get a totally different experience. Sesame Street believes in their mission to educate children. They don't just focus on the mind, but educate the mind body and soul. It's wonderful to have these great apps that puts this special content right at our fingertips.

In a day and age where families come in all shapes and sizes, it's wonderful when we use technology to improve our lives. Parents are as busy as ever. This app can be trusted over other apps because it was created by Sesame Workshop.

Other competing apps generally have a profit based model, and could even pose security issues. But apps from Sesame Street are provided by moral people who run a moral non-profit. Basically, we know we can trust them to engage our children and grandchildren engaged with positive and safe content.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Beth Trent


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