Art Class with Dr. Panda

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Art Class with Dr. Panda App Poster Image
Fun, directed crafts best as inspiration for offscreen art.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a few techniques for fun arts and crafts projects. They may even be inspired to try similar activities offline. Kids also can express themselves artistically through a few select opportunities to make creative choices. 

Ease of Play

Most interaction is through simple tap or tap and drag. There's a hand icon that demonstrates what to do in the more complex art projects.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A small icon on the home page takes kids to advertisements for other apps from the same developer. A parent gate protects actual purchase or downloads. The icon can be turned off in the in-app settings menu.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Art Class with Dr. Panda presents kids with six simple digital arts and crafts projects to explore. For example, kids can throw, fire, and paint pottery or decorate and then fly a kite. Though kids are free to explore and choose their own projects, only some projects allow for open-ended creation. For others, kids must follow instructions to make a predetermined project. Each project takes only a few minutes to complete, and some allow for kids to play briefly with the finished project. There is no way to save or document what kids create, however. Parents can turn the music and sound effects on or off in the parent section. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Choose from six arts and crafts projects in ART CLASS WITH DR. PANDA. Kids can make pottery, kites, pinwheels, and more. Each project takes kids through several steps to reach the final product. Kids have relative creative freedom for some projects. For others, they must follow a set of directions. Once finished, kids can do things like fly their kite or spin their pinwheel until they tap back to the home screen when they lose whatever they've made.

Is it any good?

Simple crafts projects presented in easy-to-follow tap-and-drag steps are an easy, harmless way to occupy kids' attention but won't be inspiring their deepest creativity. The presentation is cute and kid-friendly, and the crafts are so simplistic that young kids shouldn't have any problems getting through them. Some crafts -- like the pottery wheel -- are more exciting or unique than others. Overall, however, there's little room for real creative expression. Many of the crafts have prescribed steps for kids to follow; the most they can choose is the shape of the button to put in the center of the pinwheel, for example. Also, with no gallery or method for documentation, it's a letdown to make something and not be able to save it or show it off. Motivated families may find some inspiration for craft activities to do offscreen. But, for the most part, Art Class with Dr. Panda could be great for a diversion when real art supplies aren't available -- say, on an airplane -- but is not the best creative outlet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about kids' creative process in Art Class with Dr. Panda. Discuss the different techniques and how kids' choices change the final product.

  • Do the same or similar crafts projects offline. Break out the paper, scissors, crayons, and more to make kites, cutouts, pinwheels, and more. Give kids freedom to try different things and express themselves however they like. The creative process is more important than the final product.

  • If your kids like crafts, explore lots of ways to get them using their hands and creating things. Look for crafts classes at the library or local community center, find books with craft activities, or search for inspiration online.

App details

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For kids who love art and creativity

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