PlayART by Tapook

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
PlayART by Tapook App Poster Image
Mimic masters to make art in unique creative experience.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize some of the characteristics of eight master artists as they copy their work and borrow elements from it to create their own unique masterpieces. There is no direct instruction about artistic technique nor is there any information about the specific artists. Kids who already are familiar with the work of these masters, though, will have a great time recreating famous works or adapting them. PlayART by Tapook is a fun, hands-on way for kids to explore the works of master painters and will give them a satisfying "Aha!" moment when they recognize the paintings in a book or museum.

Ease of Play

Very easy-to-navigate controls. Before closing work, verifies that it will be deleted if not saved.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Includes the couple from Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss."


Information section includes links to other apps; protected by a parent lock screen that requires following written instructions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PlayART by Tapook is a painting app that puts the work of renowned artists in kids' hands. Kids can choose backgrounds and elements from famous paintings, putting the pieces together in their own way. They also can add paint to the works. Kids can save their images to the in-app museum or to the camera roll. Though there is a button to share on Facebook, it's disabled or doesn't work, which also is true of the video tutorial. Parents should note that no female artists are included, and most of the artists -- with one exception -- are European males.

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What's it about?

Kids choose from eight artists in PLAYART BY TAPOOK, including Katsushika Hokusai, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, and Amedeo Modigliani. After selecting an artist, a user then can choose a background from one of the artist's iconic works and add specific elements and details -- birds, flowers, or moons, for example -- from several of the artist's works. The elements can be pinched to resize them, turned, and moved, and the artist toolbox also includes an undo feature and an eraser, send-to-back and bring-forward features, a mirror image, and a paint feature. The unique works can be saved to the museum, where some of the artists' original masterpieces also are included as suggestions. Students can create a mash-up of features from all the included artists by starting in the My Favorites section where each artist and the elements used previously are easily accessible.

Is it any good?

If kids aren't already familiar with some of the work of these artists, they won't get as much from the experience, but it's still a fun, creative outlet. Ultimately, it's less about artistic technique or creation and more about art appreciation; the app does reinforce the characteristics of each artist's style, which will develop kids' appreciation and recognition of the artist's works. More background about the artists and their painting styles would boost the learning value.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite artists and visit an art museum.

  • Ask kids to tell you what's happening in the art they've created. Ask what the people are thinking or feeling or (for borrowed or copied work) what the artist was thinking or feeling.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
  • Skills: Creativity: making new creations, producing new content
  • Price: $3.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: October 9, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Arts and Dance
  • Size: 190.00 MB
  • Publisher: Tapook Publishing
  • Version: 2.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love art and painting

Themes & Topics

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