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Best Drawing Apps for Kids

Best Drawing Apps for Kids
One of the most important things we can do for our kids as teachers and parents is to encourage their creativity and artistic self-expression.
The 3 P’s: paper, pencils and paints remain our tried-and-true tools. Still, there are many wonderful iPad and Android drawing apps - some free, some very inexpensive - that let children express their artistic side. Some of the art apps also let kids collaborate with each other, or share their artwork with parents or with other children.
Take a virtual coloring book or easel with you wherever you go with these playful and colorful drawing apps. You could never carry this many paintbrushes, crayons, or sticks of chalk in your purse, and now you don't have to.

Do you want to be the next Picasso? Even if you prefer to draw with pen and paper over a stylus and tablet, these apps and games are perfect picks to turn your device into a digital sketchbook. Kids of all ages can learn how to draw their favorite characters, explore their interests in animation and comic creation, and even gain inspiration from museums all over the world. There are also valuable apps available for advanced artists to refine their skills. 

Here is the list of best drawing apps for kids who love drawing and coloring across both Android and iPad.


( iPad - £2.99 )

PuppetMaster is a superb app for providing a creative outlet for your children and harnessing the benefits of doing so. This unique storytelling app empowers children to intuitively tell their own stories. The app even encourages kids to step away from the device, and go make something.

The actual creativity prompted by this app may begin with pencil and paper. Puppets and backgrounds are imported into the app using the device's camera so the options are limitless. Defining a photograph, drawing, or toy figure as a puppet is an easy process to understand but one that rewards care.

PicoToONs brings the experience of physical colouring books to electronic devices and adds some extra graphical flourishes to distinguish it from the paper versions. The provides the kids with a vast collection of drawing tools such as Pencil, Crayon, Brush, Spray, Marker, Bucket and sparkling Glitter Paint tool. Children can also decorate their drawings with a set of beautiful stickers and paint the drawings with colours or customizable patterns.

PicoToONs occupies this position perfectly as a really well-made colouring book app. It will nurture children's creative skills by encouraging them to think of how colours work together.  It encourages planning as children form an overall colour scheme for a picture. The drawings can be saved to the gallery and can be edited later.

With The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Creative Play, kids can create digital collages and drawings and create art inspired by the style of Eric Carle. 

The app lets kids explore the same techniques that Carle used as an artist, but also allows them to get creative, experiment, and discover their own style. Kids choose to create on a blank canvas or use a dotted line drawing of some of the most recognizable figures from Carle's books.

In collage mode, kids learn to choose and create a pattern with fingers, cut shapes and arrange them in layers. Kids will begin to learn about colors and shapes by choosing the color and a paintbrush or pencil in draw mode. Drawings can be saved into a frame and stored on their gallery wall. 

Start With Art!

( Android - Free , iPad - Free )

Start With Art By Madcap Logic, LLC is a great art educational tool that is curriculum based and offers high quality animated videos and learning activities through four lessons. The app features three fun characters – Furnace, Ruby and Tickles - that help children learn about the world of art and creativity. The app meets the National Standards for the Visual Arts,  and for all the content that you get it is very good value for money.

What we liked about the Start With Art is that it suggests activities outside the app and that encourages learners to find more about art and explore the subject. This is a multi award winning app and a joy to play and learn with it. Don’t let the price discourage you from trying this app! It’s totally worth it!

Richard Galbraith's Cartoon Workshop 1 is a neat app for iPads that helps children learn to draw in a cartoon style. The app contains seventy two different cartoon drawings, each of which is broken down into steps to make it easier to copy and follow the process. A second iPad app, called "Richard Galbraith's Cartoon Workshop 2" is also available, which follows exactly the same format, but contains an additional seventy two drawings that can be used for children who want to learn more, or for variety of content.

Throughout the app, the style is very simple and user friendly, and each of the cartoon illustrations is designed well to appeal to children. The themes will also be engaging to the target audience, with the first app containing simple drawings, heroes, villains, animals, cute cartoons and funky food, whilst the second app contains people, fantasy drawings, the sea, aliens, robots and cool stuff. Each category has twelve drawings within it, and the style and design is consistently high throughout both apps.

The Anti-Coloring Book App

( iPad - £1.49 )

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. 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.

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.

How to Draw-Full Version

( iPad - £0.99 )

How to Draw-Full Version contains seven drawing "episodes" that teach kids -- even younger kids -- how to sketch a dog, cat, space shuttle, princess, and more. The verbal instructions, given by a childlike voice, are clear and very step-by-step. The on-screen cues disappear after a line is drawn and the user moves to the next portion of the lesson, which means only your kid's rendition of the drawing is left visible for him or her to color, erase, save, and send via email. In the end, it really looks like your kid "freehanded" the entire drawing, which is sort of the case -- just with a lot of help.

With How to Draw, kids learn practical steps for drawing specific objects like animals or a space shuttle while also learning more about shapes and part-whole/whole-part relationships. It's instructional for kids to see, step-by-step, how shapes such as circles of various sizes or a triangle play a role in various parts of the body of an object or animal. Kids also learn some drawing vocabulary, practice following directions, and build patience. Learning to draw isn't easy for some kids, but this step-by-step app removes most of the frustration while increasing the fun.

Draw it

( Android - Free , iPad - Free )

Draw it app is one of the best drawing apps in this list, as it is fun and enjoyable. Key feature is to sketch and draw with others in a competitive environment. Having an option to play and compete against friends would make it really fun, or even forming teams with friends/random people and having to guess each other's drawings is fun too. 

Kids can learn to improve their art and communication skills by sketching words in a creative way with Draw It. Coming up with ways to make clues apparent isn't always easy, and kids will often find unique ways to accomplish this. They can learn to think differently as they guess what their collaborators have drawn. An interesting aspect is that players work together to achieve a streak of correct guesses, rather than against each other -- both parties want the other to guess the drawing. Draw It doesn't offer art instruction, but it does encourage kids to think differently as they express ideas through drawings. 
Play Draw It with your kid, either as an "opponent" or as a drawing team against another player. Talk through different approaches to drawing a word.

MoMA Art Lab

( iPad - Free )

This unique app does more than simply encourage artistic creation. It introduces young learners to the masterful works of modern art from MoMA. The app includes nine activities inspired by famous works of art, including creating a mobile, making a chance collage, and creating a shape poem. There’s even an activity where students collaborate on a group drawing. The app lets students share their artwork via email or on Twitter, and even send it to MoMA.

MOMA matches an artist’s work with the activity to educate children about modern art while creating their own masterpieces. KinderTown really likes how the activity directions can all be read aloud to children making the app accessible to children as young as four.

ExplorArt Klee is an interactive art appbook from Lapisly that is designed to introduce children to Paul Klee and his work. Paul Klee was a prolific  20th Century Swiss- German artist who combined influences from many different artistic movements, including Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He greatly admired children’s artwork and  tried to achieve a child-like simplicity in his own work.

The app would be a great way for a teacher to introduce and support a unit of work based on Paul Klee's work.  It is also a wonderful source of inspiration for talking points and lessons.  It could even become part of some cross-curricular work.  How the veins of a leaf define the shape of a leaf and their similarity to trees, can cross to science lessons.  For music lessons, the strong link between this artist's work and music belie his talent with a violin.  It isn't explicitly said so in the app, but it also touches on fractals for maths lessons.

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