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BubbleBud Kids Universe

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
BubbleBud Kids Universe App Poster Image
Quirky preschool activities with tech and navigation issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a variety of preschool topics from letters to numbers, logic, and reading.  

Ease of Play

Navigation can be tricky and not all activities are fully explained.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchase for monthly subscription at $1.99/month. Most functions seem to work fully without making any purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BubbleBud Kids Universe is a large collection of interactive stories and games for the preschool set. Activities address typical early learning themes like letters, reading, spelling, math, and logic. When opening the app for the first time, kids must wait as the content loads. Not only does this process take a little while to complete, but also when finished, it takes up a lot more storage on your device. The app was developed in India and some vocabulary words may be unfamiliar to an American audience. Some screens require kids to be precise in tapping in small areas, which may be hard for young kids. And, some of the interactive stories have text instructions that are not read out loud. The free download seems to include a lot of content; it is not immediately clear what the $1.99/month subscription fee adds. At the time of this review, some technical issues -- such as suddenly closing down -- interfered with using BubbleBud Kids Universe. Parents may need to help kids quit the app and re-open it to resume play. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

After waiting for all of BUBBLEBUD KID'S UNIVERSE's content to download, scroll left or right and tap on Preschool, Clunky, Animalia, Oceania, Foodsburg, or Solar Family to find an activity. The preschool collection includes options for Prewriting, English, Math, Creativity, and Aptitude with games like memory, counting and addition activities, drawing, tracing, and more. Most activities offer multiple levels and themes (e.g., food, animals, transportation) to choose from. With Clunky, kids are guided through designing their own activities. The rest of the main menu options are interactive stories in which kids tap the screen to play games and advance the story.

Is it any good?

Though there's a lot of great intention with this wide-ranging collection of early learning activities, there are so many areas for improvement that it's hard to find the gems. One of the better stories is about a little girl who learns that pancakes are made from eggs, milk, and flour, which take work and help from animals to produce. Kids follow along to gather the ingredients and then mix them all up to make pancakes. However, there are many aspects of BubbleBud Kids Universe that distract, don't work quite right, or just seem off. For instance, just to get to a preschool learning activity, kids sometimes have to tap through six screens, each with its own loading time. And sometimes, instead of loading up an activity the app just crashes, which kids are sure to find frustrating. The activities themselves are not particularly inspired or creative (think classic memory games, put the puzzle together, drag apples to count them, and so on). Their presentation is also sometimes confusing, as in a number game in which random numbers appear on the screen that have nothing to do with any target number involved in that round. Or an addition activity that doesn’t actually explain anything about addition. Instructions throughout the mostly odd interactive stories aren't always complete and may leave kids confused about what they're supposed to do next. Instead of trying to do so many things at once, BubbleBud Kids Universe might be better off focusing on doing one small set of things really well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the learning themes in BubbleBud Kids Universe. Early learning content is easy to highlight in every day activities. For example, help kids develop number sense by counting and talking about numbers as you shop at the store, set the table for dinner, or take a walk in the park.

  • There's a lot to discover in this app. Talk to your kids about your family's expectations and limits on screen time.

  • Play with your kids and help point out some of the concepts that aren't fully explained. For example, how can they choose which item goes in the missing spot in a pattern? Or count out the items in each part of the equation in the addition activity before saying the full sentence: "Two plus three equals five."

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