Imagine your child opening an art box that is filled with trays of paints, boxes of markers, tubes of glitter, and pages of stickers. PicoToons Coloring Book has an amazing collection of art supplies, and the best part is that they will never run out, never dry up, and never spill. Such a wide range of options encourages children (ages 3-9) to experiment with colors and patterns to create detailed pictures, limited only by their imaginations. PicoToons has earned a Top Pick from Fun Educational Apps because it combines multi-featured project capabilities with sensible parental controls.
PicoToons was developed by Bigo Bjuo for the iPad. There are three buttons located on the opening screen- one to access the coloring books and sketchbook, one to go the gallery of saved pictures, and one for settings and parental controls. There are five different coloring books, featuring animals, occupations, fairies & friends, robots, and creatures, plus a sketchbook with open-ended possibilities. Children will find it hard to pick just one picture at a time because there are so many adorable and hilarious cartoon characters from which to choose.
The developer of PicoToons has provided three different settings, depending on the age and/or experience of the child. As parents, we know that fine motor skills are just developing, and an app that requires extremely small strokes is often too frustrating for children. In the setting for Beginners (ages 3 & under), there are many colors and patterns. Children choose one, and with a simple touch, the entire space magically fills with that color. In the Intermediate setting (for ages 4 & over), children have the same colors and patterns as Beginners, and in addition to the “one touch fill,” there is a pencil & eraser and stickers that can become bigger or smaller. Additionally, the undo/redo option is introduced at this level. In the Advanced setting (for ages 5 & up), there are all the capabilities of the Intermediate setting plus a spray paint effect, letters, and magic particles, which create swirling chains of bubbles, stars, or snow.
After the picture is finished, the child simply clicks the “Save” button in the upper right hand corner. This saves the masterpiece and places it in The Gallery, where it can be stored, photographed (for sharing with friends and relatives), or eventually deleted.
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I was impressed by the extensive painting and coloring features in PicoToons Coloring Book. As with any drawing/painting/coloring app, I recommend that parents invest a few minutes to learn how to navigate around the app beforehand, because even though it is extremely well-designed, there are so many options from which to choose. Thoughtfully created and expertly designed, PicoToons offers children an age appropriate way to express themselves artistically. Fun Educational Apps names PicoToons Coloring Book as our latest Top Pick in the category of art apps for children.
PicoToons Coloring Book is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad Only!
RRP - $2.99/£1.99/€1.79
At the time of this review, PicoToons contains no ads, nor does it offer in app purchases (IAP). There are no links to the web or to social media and there are robust parental controls. Your child’s privacy is secure when using this app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.