Drawing Academy Games for Kids

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Drawing Academy Games for Kids App Poster Image
Guided drawings come alive, but too many ads.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about how simple lines and shapes are the foundations for drawing. Some content lets kids interact with shape names, letters, numbers. Kids can also get creative and tell stories by moving around their completed drawing.

Ease of Play

Easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions guide kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Free version includes limited content with most content visible but locked. Both free and paid versions feature large ads for apps from same developer embedded in game content menu. Parent gate to pass through before accessing the app store for purchase. Frequent pop-up requests to rate the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drawing Academy Games for Kids guides kids through creating a drawing, which then comes to life through an interactive animation. A narrator and step-by-step instructions help kids make over 100 drawings such as a cat, a giraffe, or an airplane. There's a limited amount of academic learning content thrown in as the narrator points out the shapes kids are drawing or makes connections between a target letter or number and the drawing. Audio is available in 11 languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese. Parents can turn off the audio narration or the background music in the info menu. The free download includes limited content. To access all available drawings, parents need to make an in-app purchase of $3.99/month, $18.99/year, or $36.99 as a one-time purchase; try it out with a 7-day free trial. In both the free and the paid versions, ads for other apps from the same developer are mixed seamlessly together with drawing choice icons. So, while the younger kids could navigate the app, the ads make it more appropriate for slightly older kids. 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?

Browse through the available drawings in DRAWING ACADEMY GAMES FOR KIDS, organized by themes such as forest, pets, or transport. Tap on the choice to start the drawing game. A narrator and an animated hand guide kids in making the drawing step by step. Once it's finished, the drawing launches a mini animation; for example, the cat meows and stretches. Kids can then move the drawing around on the screen, or, for some drawings, tap buttons to start the mini animations. ABC and 123 categories present drawings that demonstrate and introduce each letter or number. Access completed drawings to play with them again.

Is it any good?

Animations and movement are wonderful additions to this guided drawing collection, but the visible locked content and ads drag it down. Drawing Academy Games for Kids offers structured and directed drawing. The included drawings are cute, simple to re-create, and super kid-friendly. Because kids must follow a template, their finished drawings will end up looking pretty good, which may please some kids. However, as this is not an open-ended forum for creative artistic expression, Drawing Academy Games for Kids doesn't allow kids to experiment. There aren't even that many colors to choose from. The biggest delight in this app comes with the animations. Kids can have fun interacting with their drawings as they move them around the screen and make them do things like eat a flower or stretch and turn around. Too bad kids can't also record the drawing moving around as they tell a story about it. Some content doesn't seem entirely thought out, like when the narrator continually refers to the airplane drawing for the letter "A" as a "plane." The limited content with free download model is pretty common and therefore not too surprising, but it's a big disappointment that the ads don't disappear after purchasing full access. Kids can easily get caught tapping on ads as they try to choose a drawing to make, and seeing the locked content isn't a great model for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the drawings kids make with Drawing Academy Games for Kids. Encourage kids to tell stories about the characters they create.

  • Talk about all the ads in the app. Why are they there? Do they distract from what the app does? Develop strategies and family ground rules for dealing with the ads.

  • Draw together! Practice drawing on the screen and on the paper. How do the two experiences feel different? Do you prefer one to the other?

  • Talk about art. Discuss how drawings are simply a system of lines. Look at art together and think about the artist's process in creating it. Try to draw something you see without the help of a template.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition
    Math: numbers, shapes
    Arts: drawing
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (one-week trial then to unlock all content make in-purchase of $3.99/month; $18.99/year; or $36.99 one time purchase for unlimited access)
  • Release date: January 16, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Numbers and Letters
  • Size: 425.10 MB
  • Publisher: Bini Bambini
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.2 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: March 12, 2019

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