PicsArt for Kids
What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- producing new content
- digital creation
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
Cute but detailed coloring pages, a good range of colors, and just the right number of controls should keep kids focused and engaged.
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.
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'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?
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.