Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best apps for kids for playing with art.


Great apps for iPad and iPhone for boosting creativity and teaching kids about the world of art. Thanks to these creative apps children (toddlers, preschool kids and kindergarteners as weel as primary school kids) can play with interactive art collages or scenes, paint, draw and color pictures. These educational apps are a great tool to introduce kids to the art.

You may also like Best apps for kids for drawing

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Color Vacuum

Color Vacuum
by Curious Hat

Price: 0.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 99/100

version reviewed: 1.2

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Understanding of the world

What it is: an app for exploring and playing with real life colors.

What you do with it: use the device as a 'scientific color collecting instrument'. Depending on the mode you can: 'collect' the colors by pointing the camera on your device at surrounding objects (the colors will be represented as bubbles under the magnifying glass), 'search' for objects with colors similar to the previously collected colors or 'vacuum' the colors (you need add or subtract small portions of a color using the controls provided to find the matching hue).

What we liked: the concept, educational/creative factor (encouraging curiosity and free play with 'science'), beautiful 'realistic' interface with lots of clever details (but please see the note below), sound effects enhancing the experience, the fun factor.

What we didn't like: the interface is complex, especially in the 'vacuum' mode (parental assistance is necessary, be sure to master it yourself first). Sometimes it is difficult obtain the expected result (the app works best in good lighting conditions). The app could have even more educational value (e.g. matching colors by their names, explanation of color concepts etc).

Bottom line: a must-have tool for the young aspiring 'scientists' (and we believe parents will have some fun, too).

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PlayART by Tapook

PlayART by Tapook
by Tapook

Price: free
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iPad

Overall Score: 94/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Crafts, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Music & art, Understanding of the world

What it is: an app for creating art collages using over 100 original elements and canvas from works of classical painters (Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau, Paul Klee)

What you do with it: choose the painter (you may wish to view a short video about this painter or view his paintings in the 'museum' section first) then compose your collage by dragging objects on the screen. The objects can be moved, resized or flipped. Finished pictures can be saved or shared.

What we liked: the concept (learning about art and creating your own 'art' the same time), easy operation, very good quality graphical 'components', good editing options (includes a list of favorite objects), good educational value, fun factor.

What we didn't like: in the composition' mode we missed some sort of visual guide how to re-create the original painting. We would prefer an adult narrator in the videos.

Bottom line: a very good app for introducing your child to real art (and boosting creativity, too).

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PLAY WITH Leonardo da Vinci

PLAY WITH Leonardo da Vinci
by JOUE AVEC - PLAY WITH

Price: 4.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPad

Overall Score: 93/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Creativity, Music & art, Understanding of the world
Video

What it is: interactive book with extra educational activities.

What you do with it: main sections of the app:

- 'Listen' - read/listen to the artist's biography

- 'Imagine' - play with the Mona Lisa painting by changing it or adding extra items (accessories, hair etc)

- 'Look' - view 12 da Vinci's famous paintings (and read short notes about each painting)

- 'Touch- examine details of the Mona Lisa painting using interactive magnifying glass and guides (composition, use of curves, light, colors)

- 'Play' - play simple games (containing pieces of da Vinci's paintings etc.)

To learn more see our video walkthrough (below)

What we liked: the concept, broad range of material presented in an interesting way, the interactive features (like zooming on the painting's details). Our favorite part of the app was the 'Touch' section where you can make yourself familiar with the technical details of the Mona Lisa painting.

What we didn't like: the 'Imagine' (where you create your own Mona Lisa) activity offers very basic tools and the final results are not too appealing. The idea behind the games in the Game Room may be good but the 'games' themselves leave a bit to be desired. Narration is available only in the 'Listen' (biography) section. We wish there were more interactive features and details.

Free preview: if you are not sure please see our 'See before you buy' video (below).

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Easy Stop Motion studio: Introduction to animation

Easy Stop Motion studio: Introduction to animation
by Les Trois Elles Interactive

Price: 3.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 93/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art
Video

What it is: an app for creating simple animated movies.

What you do with it: create simple animated sequences using various shapes by moving them around the screen and 'recording' animation frames. Animations can be saved and edited.

There are two modes: Easy (simple pre-defined animation templates, includes tutorial and step by step instructions) and 'Expert' (free play, unlimited designs).

What we liked: excellent concept. Very easy to use. Step by step tutorials, guiding the user from very basic to more advanced animations. Overall quality of the app. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like: no sounds. No option to export the animation.

Bottom line: excellent introduction to the world of animation.

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Stella and the Startones

Stella and the Startones
by Bohem Interactive

Price: free
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iPad

Overall Score: 93/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Music & rhythm, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art

What it is: an app for creative play with music and sounds with 21 picture/music scenes with unique melodic styles.

What you do with it: choose a scene, explore, rearrange and play with the objects in the scene, discover what sounds the objects make or how they respond to touch, create simple sound sequences.

What we liked: the concept, simple illustrations and animations, ease of use, fun factor, number of interactive elements, number and quality of sounds and sound backgrounds, no distracting elements.

What we didn't like: no option to record sound sequences during play (could be a good idea for more competent 'composers').

Bottom line: an excellent creative musical toy for all ages: younger kids can just play and discover sounds and animations while older children can try 'composing' music sequences and combining them with visuals.

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Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity

Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity
by iMagine machine llc

Price: 2.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 2.04

reviewed:


Best for: Crafts, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Music & art

What it is: an app for creating virtual collages using pictures of every-day objects.

What you do with it: create your picture from hundreds of available objects (categories like letters, buttons, music instruments, tools, toys etc). Additionally pictures from the devices' camera or from the photo library on the device can be used as backgrounds. The objects can be moved, resized, rotated or flipped. After you complete the picture, it can be saved or shared.

What we liked: the concept, ease of use, fun factor, intuitive menus, quality of editing tools, number and quality of pre-defined objects, video tutorials accessible from the app, many subtle details (like funny objects sounds), great looking results (even for less competent creators).

What we didn't like: no undo function. We would like to see some sort of zooming function (for adding and editing smaller details).

Bottom line: an original, fun to use and very well put together creative tool for all the young artists.

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Puppet Show - Kids App to Stage Your Own Play - Appracadabra

Puppet Show - Kids App to Stage Your Own Play - Appracadabra
by Appracadabra

Price: 1.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art

What it is: an app for creating simple scenes with animated stickers (3 backgrounds, 10 animated 'props', 6 'actors').

What you do with it: choose the background, one of the props and up to 2 'actors' (rag dolls). Play with the actors by moving them around the scene.

On devices with camera, the actor's face can be replaced with your own picture.

What we liked: the concept, wonderful illustrations and animations, ease of use, fun factor, 'moody' background music.

What we didn't like: too few elements to choose from (especially when you consider the price). Very limited editing options. No option to import a picture (for the actor's face) from the library on the device.

Bottom line: a beautiful app... although very pricey for what it offers.

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TJs Art Studio

TJs Art Studio
by UmaChaka Media, Inc

Price: free
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iPad

Overall Score: 86/100

version reviewed: 1.04

reviewed:


Best for: Crafts, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art, Understanding of the world

What it is: An app for creating pictures with drawing tools, shapes and stickers.

What you do with it: please see our video review.

What we liked: this app is very well put together, has lots of tools with many options. Great for more advanced 'artists'. Excellent 'tutorial' videos'. Options to import, save and share.

What we didn't like: usage of the tools menu requires some practice, no zoom function, there are some limitations (for example you can't change a shape after you placed it in the pic).

Appysmarts


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Felt Board

Felt Board
by Software Smoothie

Price: 2.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 85/100

version reviewed: 1.0.35

reviewed:


Best for: Crafts, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Music & art

What it is: an app for creating virtual scenes and collages on a virtual felt board.

What you do with it: create your picture from over a hundred of available objects (backgrounds, people, faces/body parts, clothing, accessories, animals, plants, letters, numbers). The objects can be moved, resized or 'glued' (to create more complex objects). After the picture is complete, it can be saved to the Photo Library on the device.

What we liked: the concept, ease of use, really nice, 'soft' looking graphics, good selection of ready-made items (e.g. you can recreate scenes from preschool rhymes like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old MacDonald, 5 Little Monkeys, 5 Little Speckled Frogs), the fun factor.

What we didn't like: the editing options are limited (e.g. no flipping, no rotating), the 'glue' function (used to hold the layers in place) is a bit limited (works only for 'people') and didn't work well for us. No undo function. The more objects you put 'on stage' the more difficult it gets to grab and move them.

Bottom line: we were surprised how easy it was to create nice looking scenes and collages with this app!

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