A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can practice recognizing and writing letters and numbers, as well as counting and letter sounds. Other activities touch on a variety of themes such as recognizing animals, creative expression, and light SEL skills.
Ease of Play
Some of the language is advanced for the target age (e.g., "decrease") and there are no prompts if kids get stuck. Some of the clues that kids have chosen an incorrect answer are too subtle for the age group (e.g., a series of notes trending downward).
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
This is a cheery way to reinforce kids' basic knowledge of letters and numbers while challenging them a large range of other activities -- but many games fall flat, especially for the price. Papumba Academy is nothing if not cute: The graphics are bright and colorful and bound to draw the attention of little ones. The learning activities are mostly solid, as tracing letters and numbers is good for both recognition and fine motor development, and matching games are always great for developing basic problem-solving skills. But taken as a whole, the games aren't all that innovative or creative and there's little room for interactivity. There are quite a few activities that provide superficial coverage of learning content and end up missing the mark, such as the "anti-bullying" game which feels more confusing than instructional. The prompts and game instructions are repetitive and often awkward or unclear, it would be nice to offer clues and hints when kids get stuck, and praise for correct answers is highly exaggerated (as in when the narrator says, "you're a genius like Albert Einstein"). All in all, it's fine, but the subscription fee is a lofty one for the amount of content. Parents will want to use the free trial to determine if the quality is high enough to make the fees worth their while.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.