PicsArt for Kids

Common Sense Media says

Fun coloring, tracing, and drawing practice for young kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Mostly intuitive and graphic or icon-based, but in the Android versions all back functions are device-based, and every time you leave a mode, you're asked if you want to exit. Too many layers for little ones.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Bottom banner ads get in the way of mazes in some free versions of the app, but they can be removed with a $2.99 in-app purchase.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Developer PicsArt does offer a privacy policy for the app on its website, but it's confusing in that the policy states that "the service is not intended for and may not be used by children under the age of 13" and that they "do not target the service to children under 13." But PicsArt for Kids very obviously targets young kids. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that PicsArt for Kids is a basic drawing and coloring app for preschool and younger-elementary-age kids with a few added educational pluses. Overall, the Android versions have too many layers, and navigation is a bit clunky. But the app does offer tracing and simple shape-drawing techniques that many other apps lack for this age level. Bottom banner ads can get in the way of mazes in some free versions of the app; removing them will cost $2.99.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Cute but detailed coloring pages, a good range of colors, and just the right number of controls should keep kids focused and engaged. 

Learning Approach

Kids will be empowered by choosing colors and images, just like in a real coloring book. Though there isn't a ton of depth in the learning here, kids can learn about shapes or experiment with freehand drawing.

Support

Navigation is a bit clunky on the Android versions, with too many layers for its target audience, and menu icons could use a bit more thought.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn to create digital drawings and coloring pages; practice fine-motor-writing skills by tracing swirls, waves, and zigzags; and assemble simple line drawings from simple shapes. Overall, the app could use a bit more depth and balance, and navigation could be tightened up by eliminating layers in the Android versions, especially the ones that show options in too-small thumbnail sizes. PicsArt for Kids gives kids lots of creative options but in some cases doesn't follow through completely, as far as functionality goes.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

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What's it about?

The main menu offers three modes -- Draw, Color, and Learn -- plus a gallery for displaying work. Kids select a background in Draw mode, then select colors or Dice mode, which adds various effects and options randomly. Color mode offers semi-stereotypical coloring-page themes, including animals, transportation, monsters, and princesses. Learn mode offers mazes and dotted-line scenes for tracing practice as well as open-ended, shape-based drawing lessons. Kids can tap to erase, delete, or save finished art to the gallery.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PICSART FOR KIDS is a decent drawing app for kids that adds a few unique educational activities: tracing, finish-the-drawing, and open-ended, shape-based drawing lessons. Tracing is a vital prewriting skill that is often overlooked in traditional mass-market products, so it's awesome that your kids can get some practice here. The shape-based drawing activity offers up a page showing the shape (a teardrop, for instance) and two simple line drawings that include it. Kids can trace over the shape to recreate the line drawings or start from scratch to make their own.

Unfortunately, the app only offers a handful of tracing activities (mazes don't really count) and only a few more single-page drawing lessons and finish-the-drawing pages. In some of the free versions, bottom banner ads often get in the way of seeing all the content (in the case of the mazes, it's vital content). In Android versions, kids have to use the back button to leave page layers (and four layers is too many for younger kids), and kids are prompted to exit to leave modes. Although older kids will get used to this relatively quickly, younger ones might get frustrated and need some guidance.

Families can talk about...

  • For prewriters, offer more tracing activities like finger painting.

  • Model color mixing with paints; for example, red and blue make purple!

  • Check out line-drawing activity books from the library.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free-$3.99
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
Release date:March 31, 2013
Category:Education
Size:16.00 MB
Publisher:PicsArt
Version:Android 1.3.0; iOS 1.0.0
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.1 and up; iOS 5.0 or later

This review of PicsArt for Kids was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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