Parents' Guide to

Art Class with Dr. Panda

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Fun, directed crafts best as inspiration for offscreen art.

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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.

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