Drawissimo Kids-Learn to Draw

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
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Creative on-off screen combo takes practice; ads distract.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to follow the steps and create a wide variety of drawings in the app or on paper. Kids will need a steady hand and great hand-eye coordination to trace the lines and successfully reproduce drawings. Though they are following templates, kids do have room to express their creative sides, from choosing colors for in-app drawings or arranging multiple drawings to set a scene on paper. 

Ease of Play

The app is easy to use and navigate. Copying the drawings is not always as easy, but kids will get better with practice.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

In the free version, every page has a banner ad, and often, video ads interrupt navigation. No parent gate on in-app purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Drawissimo Kids-Learn to Draw is similar to those books that help kids draw by showing them lines to trace or copy step by step. Kids can drag a finger across the screen or prop the device over real paper to draw animals, people, monsters, and much more in the app. If you give the app permission to access the camera, kids can share via email or whatever social media is on the device. The free version includes limited drawing templates and is ripe with banner ads and video commercials, which kids can easily tap into and aren't all a great fit for the target age (the app Mobile Strike is one example). In-app purchases can unlock additional content or give you an ad-free experience, but they don't have a parent gate. The developer doesn't have a privacy policy but does touch on how it uses your information in its terms of service.  

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What's it about?

DRAWISSIMO KIDS-LEARN TO DRAW takes kids step-by-step through a variety of drawings. Browse the extensive collection, choose something to draw, then choose how to draw it in the app or on paper. The in-app drawing tools are basic except for an option to offset the pencil tip so your finger doesn't cover up what you're drawing. After completing the line drawing, color it in. Or balance your device on a tall drinking glass over a piece of paper, adjust the drawing's size and orientation to your liking, and trace the lines with a pencil as you watch your hand on the screen. Some content is locked and available for purchase in-app, and there are banner and video ads.

Is it any good?

Easy-to-follow instructions help kids create cartoon-like drawings, but it takes practice, and the ads can be distracting. Even complicated drawings are easily broken down into manageable steps, which should make them accessible to beginner and confident drawers alike. There's a nice variety of categories, even in the free version, though all the locked content -- which includes some of the more interesting, artistic stuff -- may frustrate kids eager to try their hand at lots of different drawings. There are also nice options such as being able to view or hide the template for inspiration while coloring. The main issue is how well the tracing feature works. Drawissimo Kids-Learn to Draw attempts to intersect screen and paper and is successful in some ways but less so in others. When kids keep everything still and carefully trace lines, they can produce some great-looking -- albeit small -- drawings. The downside is that it can take a good deal of coordination to balance the device, keep it and the paper still, and make sure there's enough room to see the whole drawing on the screen as the drawing progresses. Even though ads are a major nuisance, the free version offers enough of a taste to see whether this drawing app is right for your kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about in-app purchases in Drawissimo Kids-Learn to Draw. Are they allowed to buy more content? Can they download any of the advertised apps?

  • Talk about all the ads in the app. Why are they there? Do they distract from what the app does? Develop strategies and family ground rules for dealing with the ads.

  • Draw together! Practice drawing on the screen and on the paper. How do the two experiences feel different? Do you prefer one to the other?

  • Talk about art. Discuss how drawings are simply a system of lines. Look at art together and think about the artist's process in creating it. Try to draw something you see without the help of a template.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing
  • Skills: Creativity: making new creations
    Tech Skills: digital creation
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (with optional in-app purchases for no ads and more content from $1.99-$7.99)
  • Release date: July 11, 2016
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Size: 80.20 MB
  • Publisher: Gregor Zvikart
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android varies with device
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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