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Sesame Workshop cements memory skills for children via interactive app

Sesame Workshop has rolled out a new mobile application for iPhone and iPad devices that helps children between the ages of 2-6 years old build memory and organizational skills.

The Look and Find Elmo on Sesame Street iPhone app is $1.99, and the iPad version is $2.99 in Apple?s App Store. The app uses a combination of games, pictures and voice features to connect with children.

?The Look and Find print books have always been hugely popular with our young readers,? said Betsy Loredo, executive editor at Sesame Workshop, Lincolnwood, IL.

?They just love the sense of discovery and play in those books,? she said. ?Because we always aim to place books into kids? hands wherever they may be, it was a natural choice to bring Look and Find into the mobile arena.?

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind the Sesame Street television series. The company produces content for multiple media platforms with the goal of helping families and kids prepare for lifelong learning.

Mobile learning
Sesame Street?s Elmo character guides children through six scenes in the app to help them find hidden objects.

Each scene shows a list of items that children have to find to complete the level.

Each item found triggers a sound to play, which helps children improve hand-eye coordination.

Children can also find stickers in the game, which are stored in a virtual book and give players an incentive to keep playing. Three stickers are hidden in each scene.

Furthermore, there is a memory game feature where users find pairs of items by flipping over cards.

Throughout the game, Elmo encourages users to interact with the app.

Interactive opportunities
This is not the first mobile initiative from Sesame Workshop.

Last year, the nonprofit rolled out an iOS app that centered around its Cookie Monster character (see story).

Mobile offers big opportunities for children and education. By layering interactive elements on top of print content, smartphones and tablets are becoming go-to teaching tools, especially for younger children.

?As new technologies enter the marketplace, more children ? even as young as preschoolers ? are getting a chance to interact with them,? Ms. Loredo said.

?Because children love to read and to share stories with their parents and caregivers, books continue to be a comfortable, familiar experience for children as they are introduced to those devices for the first time,? she said. ?So it is no surprise that book-based apps are the source of so many mobile experiences at the Workshop.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York