Tablets and other electronic devices are quickly becoming the entertainment of choice for parents with young children. Thus, a massive influx of child-friendly apps are required to ensure there’s quality software to run on those pieces of equipment. For many parents the creative software of choice seems to be any type of suite that allows their child to draw and paint to their heart’s content without all the mess that comes from real markers, pens, and crayons.
Nick Jr.’s Draw & Play is a quality app that allows just this and more. Kids (and adults, too if you’re a fan of the Nick. Jr. lineup) have a multitude of tools at their disposal to draw simple sketches, paint a few Picassos, or even create collages. A fully-stocked arsenal of crayons, watercolors, and other creative “weapons” is available — even spray paint, should your child aspire to be the next Banksy.
Go fly a kite, Dora.
Tools are laid out in an accessible and attractice manner, with undo and erase buttons available for easy scrapping of unintended changes or artistic revisions. There’s even a quick tutorial set up to quickly guide younger players through using them and the rest of the toolbox: how to select colors, change brush sizes, and how to share with others, both literally and figuratively.
There are plenty of whimsical stickers featuring familiar Nick. Jr favorites with which little ones can add a touch of flourish to their artwork as well. Dora the Explorer, her cousin Diego, and the Bubble Guppies round out the selection, with multiple poses and backdrops available to play around with.
“I call it ‘Dog’s Breakfast.’”
Each sticker, when dragged onto the canvas, animates and performs a different action, so not only will kids be entranced by their multitude of options when it comes to illustrating, but their favorite characters as well. In addition, smaller decor like bouncy balls and fireworks can be sprinkled throughout each canvas. Tilting the device can result in some surprises as well, like bouncing the balls and triggering other animations — this is where the “play” comes in from the title.
Draw & Play is a pretty robust creative suite for children with easy-to-use tools and colorful designs that should appeal to kids of all ages. It’s easy to balk at the $3.99 pricetag, but when you consider the potential hundreds of dollars saved if you hand your child this app rather than a box of crayons, the savings make more sense. You might want to protect your device, though — they can get expensive. If you’re looking for a creative app for your child, Nick Jr.’s latest is an excellent choice. You might even catch yourself doodling around with it — especially if you’ve been wasting a lot of time with Draw Something, and we all do.