What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
What kids can learn
- making new creations
- digital creation
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Commands are very kid-friendly, and kids will quickly see their creations in action, rewarding their efforts and encouraging them to create more.
Kids learn how animation works through hands-on exploration. Plenty of space is available to save new animations, so kids can create, watch, and improve upon their animations. Lack of voice-over narration limits storytelling.
A video tutorial shows how to use all the commands. Animations are saved in the gallery or exported to the camera roll as MOV files and can be shared from there.
What's it about?
ABCYA ANIMATE lets kids easily create their own animated movies. Starting from a white screen, kids can draw using four pencil sizes and 36 colors or add images from the categories of transportation, landscape, animals, foods, people, and fun objects. They can move and size objects, flip them, or arrange them in front of or behind other objects. To save a frame and add it to the film roll, kids hit "copy frame" and then add to the next frame -- up to 99 frames. They can set the background, also creating their own or using one of the preloaded backgrounds, view the previous frame, and clear a frame easily. There's no way to record voice-overs or add custom music, although the background tune can be changed in the parent/teacher section. Movies can be played once or on a loop. Animations can only be saved to the gallery on the device or exported to the camera roll.
Is it any good?
Kids wanting to dip their toes into animation will have fun, but some key features are missing. The drawing interface is easy to navigate, and all the commands are visible on-screen. Kids have plenty of room in the 99 frames to build a short animated film, and the dozens of included images provide the versatility to incorporate lots of elements. Unfortunately, kids can't add their own narration, which limits the versatility and storytelling element. The video tutorial is very helpful to show kids how to create animations, though, so consider the app a good introduction to how animation is created and a way for kids to successfully create their own basic animations.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how old animation compares to today's. How does it look different, and how is it the same?
Have kids tell you their animated stories and encourage them to write them down.