What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tiny Robot Maker lets kids design their own robots on-screen and then print them out on coloring pages or in full-color cards or pictures. The design process walks kids step by step through creating the robot, offering several options for each part. There are no written instructions, and the drag and drop is very intuitive. The cards and pictures are saved to the camera roll and can be printed from there.
What kids can learn
- making new creations
- multiple forms of expression
Engagement, Approach, Support
Creating different robots will engage kids at first but may get repetitive after a bit, as it follows the same formula. Coloring creations off-screen will extend the fun and learning.
Working step by step, kids create robots from the given choices. Though there's not much room for creativity outside the format, kids do have lots of choices for every robot part and can make countless robot combinations.
Kids can extend their learning and creation by making cards for friends or coloring pages for themselves or others from the robots they make. All creations are saved in the gallery and can be used in the future for card-making.
What's it about?
Kids start by choosing their robot base from a triangle, a rectangle, a cylinder, or an oval. Then they can change the color of the base, add a head, body decoration, arms, legs, facial features, and antennae. Once kids have completed the robot, they hit the check to save it to the robot gallery. From the gallery, they can create full-color or outlined coloring pages, note cards, party invitations, and birthday cards. These creations are saved to the device's camera roll and can be printed from there.
Is it any good?
It's easy to miss the card-printing feature and get caught up in the fun of designing robots. From that perspective alone, TINY ROBOT MAKER is pretty limited. The robots are easy to make, but creating them is very formulaic. Arms go in one place only. Same goes for the legs and other parts. Every part of the robot has to be added for the robot to be saved to the gallery and then to be printed. Creating cards or coloring pages from kids' creations is a really cool extension that changes the whole purpose of the app. Again, there aren't many customization options, such as adding names or personalized messages, but it's fun for kids to see something they created (even if they didn't get to be very creative in making it) in print.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about kids' robot creations. Do their robots have names? What are they like: good or evil?
Let kids create robots from recycled materials, including shoe boxes, aluminum foil, and paper towel and toilet paper rolls -- anything they can find.