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Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece (Wii, DS)
Featuring a variety of lessons based around music creation, Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece is the perfect title for budding Beethovens. In addition to jamming with their favorite furry red monster, musicians-in-the-making can also rock out with other Sesame Street stars such as Abby Cadabby and Count von Count.
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Abby Monkey: Baby Zoo Animals (iOS)
Vibrant visuals, engaging sound effects, and adorable baby animals aplenty make this one a favorite among the preschool set. More than just providing a cool virtual zoo visit though, it serves as a child-friendly teaching tool thanks to its inventive Learning, Matching, and Find Me! game modes.
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The Great Cookie Thief (iOS)
Based on the classic Sesame Street storybook, this Cookie Monster-starring app features an interactive, old west-inspired yarn supported by a pop-off-the-screen presentation. Piecing together simple clues throughout the story allows curious tykes to uncover the mystery behind the titular sweets stealer.
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Baloonimals (iOS, Android)
Create, shape, and play with balloon animals — that won't pop or deflate! — by blowing into your i-device's microphone and swiping its touch-screen. The only thing cooler than interacting with Baloonimals air-filled friends is witnessing the look of amazement stretch across your child's face as you do so.
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Fish School HD (iOS)
Fish School HD engages both the mind and eyes by delivering its various preschool lessons in a vibrant under-the-sea setting?learning letters, colors, numbers, and shapes is way more fun when they're taught by tropical fish. Of course, when school's out, the fish can be played with by tapping and swiping the touch-screen.
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PBS KIDS Video (iOS)
This content-packed app features 1000-plus videos from favorite PBS KIDS shows, from Curious George and The Cat in the Hat, to Sesame Street and SUPER WHY! Best of all, the bite-sized clips are easily accessed on the road, in the doctor's office, or any place else your little ones might crave a quick distraction.
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Elmo Loves ABCs (iOS)
There are hundreds of alphabet-teaching apps to choose from, but we like this one for its focus on tactile interaction; its varied selection of educational games and activities — including kid-favorite coloring pages — tasks preschoolers with touching, tracing, sliding, and swiping the screen in a number of imaginative ways.
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Zoo Train (iOS)
Apart from featuring two toddler favorites — animals and trains — this app provides five absorbing preschool lessons, covering everything from the alphabet to musical notes. A bouncy soundtrack, beautiful cartoon illustrations, and the ability to earn sticker bonuses make this train worth boarding.
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Scout's Shapes & Colors Farm (iOS)
Plenty of apps teach shapes and colors, but this one does an especially great job of weaving its lessons within its charming animal farm theme. Whether helping a creative kitty turn seeds into crop shapes or searching for matching colors in a pile of hay, there's plenty of educational fun to be harvested on Scout's Farm.
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Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (iOS, Android)
Preschoolers love this one for its cute monkey mascot and animated sticker prizes, but parents dig it because it delivers clever counting- color- and letter-based lessons, as well as matching mini-games, through a simple-to-use interface. Did we mention participation is rewarded with stickers?