Here at Fun Educational Apps, we see a lot of art apps. Mostly, these apps contain digital coloring pages, much like the color-by-number pictures that are commonly available. Other art apps provide a blank page and a series of digital markers and pencils that allow children to create simple shapes freehand. They rely on fancy textures, glitter, and stickers to make the projects special.
We recently discovered Sketch Pad Safari, an app that is different from most other art apps. It gives step-by-step instructions for drawing jungle animals that end up actually looking like the model. We think it’s a Top Pick because it uses tablet technology to show children (ages 6-9) how real artists learn to draw.
Sketch Pad Safari was developed by Codegent for the iPad. It is part of the Kizzu Learn & Play series of educational apps. The app is introduced by a guide named Mr. Bazoo, who explains that he likes to find animals and draw them. He invites your child to come along, so that he can teach him to draw, too. There are 10 different jungle animals from which to choose: cheetah, giraffe, rhino, snake, lion, hyena, tiger, zebra, elephant, and hippo. Once an animal is chosen, the tablet screen becomes a drawing pad. The child then traces the shape he sees (big circle, sideways oval, tall rectangle, etc.) over the template. When he’s finished, he clicks the green arrow and the next shape appears. Gradually, the form of the animal begins to emerge. After the main shapes have been completed, then the darker lines are added; these will become the actual outline of the animal. The only skill that is required is to draw over the lines and shapes that appear. Once the animal is fully drawn, it is possible to add color to make it look even more real. There is a gallery to save the completed drawings right in the app.
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I was impressed by the way Sketch Pad Safari teaches the drawing process. It is clear this developer understands that children approach drawing differently than do adults. Their strategy is to show children that no object is too hard to draw if you can picture the shapes that you see in it. The user interface is very intuitive, and the process occurs in small, manageable steps. I am also impressed by how easy it is to create drawings that actually look like the real animal. This skill, once learned, can generalize into drawing other things as well. Sketch Pad Safari is a great app for children who want to learn to draw better. It is the latest Top Pick for Fun Educational Apps in the category of art apps for children.
Sketch Pad Safari is availabe for download via the ITunes App Store - iPad
RRP - $1.99/£1.49/€1.79
At the time of this review, Sketch Pad Safari contains no ads. It does include an external link to the Kizzu Learn & Play website through a protected parent portal. Parents can be confident their children’s safety is protected 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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