Mini Monet is a new app for the iPad, developed by Sprite Kids, for children ages 6-8 years old. A short description of each of the different artistic options is provided when the app is first opened. This is also available at any time by clicking the “i” button on the top right of the screen. Children can choose to:
- color child-friendly illustrations from ten different categories (including pets, fairies, transportation, kids, dinosaurs, and princesses)
- draw free-hand using a variety of tools (pencil, marker, paintbrush)
- experiment with symmetry (a great skill not typically included in art apps)
- enjoy the pictures they have placed in their Art Book
- earn rewards entitling them to access special pictures to color and paint
Across the top of the drawing and coloring pages are “tool” buttons, including enlarge, shrink, undo, delete, and finished. The color palette is conveniently located on the right side of the page. Easy-to-follow instructions for using the palette are provided. Once a project is finished, it is possible to save the picture to your iPad photo album or the Art Book contained right in the app. The creation can also be shared with family members via email or with the Art Club, an online collection of artwork created by users of Mini Monet. Sending projects to the Art Club is a great way to earn reward coins, which can be used to access special pictures. Parent permission is required for sharing.
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Using a French-themed sidewalk for the opening screen is a nice touch. Even the home button shares the French theme- it’s the Eiffel Tower. The pictures in Mini Monet are cute and well-drawn, although they may be a little young for 8 year olds, who start to prefer more realistic-looking pictures. I think that the art palette is extremely well-designed and includes colors, tints (light to dark), textures, glitter paint, stamps, and stickers- virtually anything a child could think of to put on a page. Another really neat feature is the Magic Pencil, which keeps the color in the correct space; this is a helpful tool for children who are still developing their fine motor skills.
Mini Monet: Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids exceeds expectations for both intuitive design and technical quality. Since it meets all of our requirements for a great children’s art app, it has been chosen as the latest Top Pick on Fun Educational Apps.
Mini Monet: Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad/iPad Mini/iPad Air
Promo Price - $0.99/£0.69/€0.89 -- RRP - $1.99/£1.49/€1.79
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14. Art is often the great equalizer of children, and its expression is only limited by their imaginations.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.