For Teachers

For Parents

Playground 3 - ABC Edition. The kids app to learn how to read and write letters.

Price: iPhone/iPad - Paid

Teacher Overview

This is another high quality app from indie developer, Jan Essig. We loved playing with this game that will keep kids begging to practice their alphabet and spelling.

As with other apps from this developer, the app receives a 5 Star EAS Certification and EAS Recommended status. 

Teacher Review

We thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this app. Jan Essig understands what makes children tick and has the ability to get them learning. The aim of the app is to teach the letters of the alphabet in lower and upper case as well as teaching their sounds and how to read words based on their sounds. This is done via a series of exercises that could almost be viewed as highly entertaining and engaging “games”. The first game of “Flashcards” introduces the letters and their sounds along with beautiful illustrations of animals whose name begins with the letter.  The next game, “Practice” introduces how to write the letters so that users must trace around lightly shaded areas with their index finger. The app recognises whether the tracing is correct or incorrect and awards points accordingly. In another game, we learn how to write the names of animals by unscrambling the letters that make up their names. Once again, this game serves to build on the prior learnings. For every correct spelling that is unscrambled, the user is awarded points. There is also a highly interactive game of “Pairs” in three different formats that could be considered as different levels. This game alone is great at practicing letter and spelling recognition.

Now, here is what differentiates this app from other educational apps in this space: Not only is the learning process very comprehensive with many different engaging exercises that drill home the concepts behind letter learning but, the more exercises that the user does, the more points (apples) that he/she will get. When the user has at least 3 apples, he/she will be able to play an extremely addictive game of a cute looking yeti that shoots apple cores into the distance. The idea is to launch them via a bin that the user has to press and have the apple core travel a long distance. The game is so slick and addictive that you quickly run out of all your apple cores and must continue learning to be able to play again. The incentive to learn is pretty strong!   

As with other apps from this developer, the app has a series of features that offer child-protection. For example the app has no in-app adds and all the external links are protected. The app does not collect any information and nor will it share any data with third-parties. Additionally, the app has its usual feature that allows parents to set how long children can play with the app and whether they want to hide or display the “Yeti-(apple throwing) Game”.

We think that your children will love playing with this app. The quality is fantastic and there are many learning exercises to do and practice with. The number of exercises and quality of the technical features and illustrations is value for money.  The app could also be used  in classrooms of Early Primary/ Kindergarten School years.

Teacher Certification

Teacher RatingTeacher Rating for the app

SafeguardingApp Advertising or In-App Purchases


  • Playground 3 - ABC Edition. The kids app to learn how to read and write letters. App - 1Playground 3 - ABC Edition. The kids app to learn how to read and write letters. App - 2Playground 3 - ABC Edition. The kids app to learn how to read and write letters. App - 3Playground 3 - ABC Edition. The kids app to learn how to read and write letters. App - 4

Developer Description

2012 BEST APP EVER AWARDS – TOP 10 Nominee – Best Game for Kids under 9


When my daughter was learning her letters, I thought long and hard about the best way to teach her the alphabet. The result is this collection of six exercises:

• Flashcards – introduces individual capital letters and their sounds, along with animals for kids to associate with each sound. Users can trace the letters, and can hear each letter name by touching it.

• Practice – lets user practice with uppercase letters while also introducing lowercase letters. Users can practice tracing letters in five different fonts.

• Write – a drawing board for users to practice their letters freehand in six colors. Users can also drag letters around on the electronic equivalent of a magnetic board. The resulting artwork or message can be photographed and saved to your iPad’s camera roll.

• Word Scramble – users unscramble the letters to spell the names of more than 65 animals.

• Matching – match capital letters to their lowercase partners, and match letters with their corresponding animals. Teaches correct alphabet sequence as well as connection between capital and lowercase letters.

• Pairs – memory matching card game where users match up uppercase/uppercase pairs, uppercase/lowercase pairs, or letter/animal pairs.

KNOW what's inside: As a MOMs with Apps member, I follow the "Know what's inside" best practices for kids' apps.

Other features:
• No ads or in-app purchases.
• Free lite version available.
• This app is multilingual (English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Swedish). The languages can be changed in nearly every activity, allowing your child to learn that "A" is for ALLIGATOR in English, AFFE in German, or ABEILLE in French.
• Allows the user to work with both initial sounds and letter names.
• User can easily switch from print to handwriting font, and from upper to lower case.
• Includes a reward system game kids will love
• Settings and external links are protected in a “parents only” area to prevent children from accidentally ending up on Facebook, in email, or in other internet locations you don’t want them to go.
• Includes a timer that allows parents to limit playing time.
• The sound can be switched on and off at any time.
 I hope that this ABC app interests you and provides your child with a great start in the world of letters.

Dear parents,
PLEASE contact me for any help, concerns or suggestions to improve this App.
Don´t hesitate to contact me via mail: :)
A short review would be wonderful
Best regards and have fun playing
Jan Essig

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