The Anti-colouring Book app is a unique concept by Susan Striker that steps away from the traditional colouring book pages and encourages the child to use their imagination and critical thinking skills rather than colour in a pre-conceived drawing.
Upon opening the app the user is shown several options: To begin a new drawing, to look at the art gallery of saved drawings or to learn more about the author. We believe that the latter options should have been left off the main menu as this stage. The graphics here are self-explanatory if not a little pixelated.
To create a new page press the begin menu. Here you are given over 40 anti-colouring page options to start your creative thinking from bogeyman to grandparents to magic carpets. We did note here however that several of the words used are American biased such as junkyard, backyard, bill board etc.
Upon choosing your page the user can choose from a number of key art tools displayed on the right hand side. We feel that the app would have benefitted from a retractable art tool box that would allow the user more space for the page itself. Working on an iPad mini would confine the space even further.
However, the tools are excellent and offer a wide range of brushes, pens and colour techniques. The menu system at the bottom of the page enables you to save the drawing, start again, listen to instructions (which is great), read a book (we are unsure of this one), save to the gallery and mix colours. The brushes are very receptive and offer some great ways to create your drawing, however this can be quite fiddly at times. The ability to step back a stage rather than delete as a whole or by using the eraser would be beneficial. We loved the paintbrush and how the colour is built up after each stroke.
Once your masterpiece has been created it can be saved to the gallery or even emailed to the worldwide art gallery via email. Your saved design can be emailed but not printed directly from the app, which is a shame.
Overall we love the concept of the Anti-colouring app and how it will open young minds to creativity and imagination. It’s a great idea that will appeal to an audience of all ages where the possibilities are endless.
From the Developer
Note: This app is supported on iPad 3 and above, and all iPad Minis.
Make Art Not War!
Incredible! An app that encourages children to imagine, create, draw, think, plan, solve problems and read! No shooting, crushing or killing!
The Young at Art® philosophy, as set forth in the books of the same name emphasizes that children’s art is not a “frill”, not merely “charming” but the very foundation upon which all education can be built. It was first introduced with the publication in 1978 of The Anti-Coloring Book®, railing against the proliferation of stifling “art” activities consisting of drawings created by adults that children were expected to merely color in; neatly and within the lines. The Anti-Coloring Books don’t merely burst free of those lines, but eliminates them completely! Each activity in an Anti-Coloring Book App is adapted from the best-selling series of books designed to stimulate problem solving, spark creative thinking and set free the magic of a child’s imagination. Each activity offers children opportunities to draw their own pictures; not embellish someone else’s. Albert Einstein has been quoted saying that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” In the future our children will be embarking on careers that don’t even exist now and may be called upon to solve problems we can’t possibly anticipate. Our children’s futures can best be assured by developing their entrepreneurial and adventuresome spirits now. Age appropriate art activities provide children with wonderful opportunities to learn how to think for themselves and fantasize. “Where will you go on your magic carpet?” “Entertain your parents with a tall tale.” “What does your dream car look like?”
All art projects stand-alone but also offer opportunities for enrichment by recommending a storybook about the same subject as the activity. For pre-readers, there is an option to listen to directions for each activity.
Author: Susan Striker
Artist and Designer: Sally Schaedler
Developer: Matt Meyers
Voice: Jean Richards