New alphabet and numbers apps pop up everyday, which is no surprise given the popularity of the iPad as a learning aid for small children. Disney Buddies: ABCs and Disney Buddies: 123s are the latest to join the party. Published by Disney and developed with Spinlight, the two apps allow kids to discover letters and numbers with over 50 familiar Disney and characters.
Play and Learn with Mickey
In Disney Buddies: ABCs and Disney Buddies: 123s, kids join popular Disney characters to explore the letters of the alphabet and the numbers from 1-20. They start by selecting a letter or number on the main screen, then complete an activity related to their selected letter or number. For example, helping Tinkerbell sprinkle the pixie dust for “S” or helping Alice paint “10” roses red.
In Disney Buddies: ABCs, each letter is introduced with the sound (or sounds) it makes. Then, at the end of each activity, the narrator gives an alliterative praise. For example, “Admirable adding!” or “Hooray! Helpful hammering!” Kids can jump to a letter they want at any time, and also toggle between uppercase and lowercase letters.
In Disney Buddies: 123s, kids can select a number they like or tap the number wheel to get a random number. Each activity is prefaced by counting from 1 to the selected number, although it can be skipped by tapping the fast forward button.
In addition to an activity for each number and letter, both apps include original songs sung by Mickey Mouse himself. The ABCs app includes the alphabet song, whereas the 123s app includes “It’s Fun to Count to 20!”
Parents Need to Know
Created in collaboration with Spinlight, the Disney Buddies apps share a similar design with the developer’s own TallyTots Counting app. Both the original TallyTots app and the Disney Buddies apps are engaging and suitable for ages 5 and under. The only difference is that the Disney Buddies apps feature Disney characters.
In both Disney Buddies: ABCs and Disney Buddies: 123s, there are no in-app purchases or advertising for anything other than Disney apps. Neither apps require an Internet connection.
Things I Like
The Disney Buddies apps present a playful environment for kids to explore the ABCs and numbers from 1-20. The gameplay is stress-free with no chance of failing, and easily accessible for young kids. Because each letter and number gets a unique activity, there’s enough interactivity to keep kids engaged for some time. The one downside is that the activities are rather short, so I hope the developers will consider adding more activities in the future.
Undeniably, the appeal of the Disney Buddies app is in the use of characters that many kids know and love. Disney fans will no doubt recognize buddies from classic animations such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and friends from Winnie the Pooh. There are also characters from newer franchise, such as Vannelope and Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph and Baymax from Big Hero 6.
The Disney Buddies apps are Disney’s take on educational games for preschool children, featuring over 50 familiar characters from Disney and lots of activities that make kids smile and laugh. With adorable graphics and simple, stress-free gameplay, the apps present a modern approach for learning the alphabet and numbers from 1-20.
You can download both Disney Buddies: ABCs and Disney Buddies: 123s as a bundle for a reduced price on the App Store:
Alternatively, you can purchase the apps individually:
Apps were provided for our honest review.