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| September 14, 2012
AppAdvice Jr: Finer Finger Painting Apps
Playing with finger paints is one of the hallmarks of being a kid. Of course, the hallmark of a parent is always needing to clean up after the finger painting. Luckily, there’s an app or two that can help lend a hand. Even though it comes with a $6.99 price tag, Nick Jr. Draw & Play HD is definitely worth every cent. The best things it has going for it are a variety of easy-to-use tools (including zany ones like fireworks and spinning tops that spill paint) stickers, and characters such as Dora to keep kids entertained. [caption id="attachment_338398" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The "spinner" tool at work in Nick Jr. Draw & Play HD.[/caption] I Luv Drawing People is for the older kids who do a good job of tracing lines and following directions. With a little help from the app, kids can draw boys and girls doing different activities. A large variety of colors are available, despite only offering pencil and brushes as tools. The “My Drawing Book” section is a way to capture all of the masterpieces. There are some great options as well that are free. Two of them stand out for the different approaches they take. Paint Sparkles Draw announces each color as a child selects them. Beige! The magic wand tool is a cool way to draw because it changes color as it goes. Unfortunately, the kids may accidentally click on one of the ad banners, or may not understand why they can’t access some of the content (which unlocks after an in-app purchase). Kids Doodle - Movie Your Drawing has two nifty features to it. The canvas is a black field and the paint is all neon. Kids have a couple of nifty tools to choose from for drawing. Once he or she is done, selecting the movie reel icon on the far right will play back a movie of each of the strokes as they were made. My three year-old daughter definitely got a kick out of watching her art come to life. [caption id="attachment_338393" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Paint with neon in Kids Doodle - Movie Your Drawing.[/caption] While there are certainly plenty of drawing apps out there, the most important part is that your child has fun expressing his or her creativity, while practicing digital literacy skills at the same time. And the best part for you is that you don’t need to clean up the mess. Export the work from any of the apps’ galleries, or take a screen shot (press the home and power buttons at the same time), and print it. Then you’ve got some new masterpieces to hang in the art gallery in your house; namely the refrigerator. Have any apps worked well for your child?