How to Draw-Full Version

App review by
Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Media
How to Draw-Full Version App Poster Image
Cool app teaches even young kids how to sketch.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

With How to Draw, kids learn practical steps for drawing specific objects like animals or a space shuttle while also learning more about shapes and part-whole/whole-part relationships. It's instructional for kids to see, step-by-step, how shapes such as circles of various sizes or a triangle play a role in various parts of the body of an object or animal. Kids also learn some drawing vocabulary, practice following directions, and build patience. Learning to draw isn't easy for some kids, but this step-by-step app removes most of the frustration while increasing the fun.

Ease of play

The app offers excellent verbal and on-screen tutorials at the beginning, as well as clear, simple instructions during each drawing lesson. Players can choose how thick or thin they want their drawing line to be, and what colors they want to use; there is also an erase feature for mistakes.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

There is a link to the app's publisher on the main page. Otherwise, no ads.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How to Draw-Full Version contains seven drawing "episodes" that teach kids -- even younger kids -- how to sketch a dog, cat, space shuttle, princess, and more. The verbal instructions, given by a childlike voice, are clear and very step-by-step. The on-screen cues disappear after a line is drawn and the user moves to the next portion of the lesson, which means only your kid's rendition of the drawing is left visible for him or her to color, erase, save, and send via email. In the end, it really looks like your kid "freehanded" the entire drawing, which is sort of the case -- just with a lot of help.

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What's it about?

How to Draw-Full Version includes fun "episodes" that kids can choose from to learn to draw specific objects or animals, such as a hippo, cat, or the Statue of Liberty. After choosing one lesson, a voice instructs kids how to draw a specific line segment that appears on the screen concurrently with the voice instruction. Once kids complete the drawing, the computer-generated lines disappear, leaving their own drawing to tweak, color, save, or email.

Is it any good?

HOW TO DRAW can be a real confidence builder for budding artists of all ages. The adorable drawings the app teaches users to sketch look like they may be too complicated for younger kids to learn, but the bit-by-bit instructions make these drawing lessons accessible to kids as young as kindergarten -- maybe even younger, if your kid has a natural affinity for drawing. What fun for a young child to send a completed drawing via email (with a parent's help, of course) to a relative or teacher and say, "I drew that space shuttle!" And have it really look like a space shuttle. Highly recommended.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Help your kid email his or her favorite drawing to a relative or art teacher. 

  • Talk about some of the descriptive words kids hear in app. Why is it helpful to use words like "wavy," "curved," or "arc and bracket" when explaining a line?

App details

For kids who love art and creativity

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