User Group: Kids between 4- 11 years
Available on: iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Price: Free download with in-app purchases
About the App: Everything Butt Art is an app that teaches children how to draw common zoo animals starting from the shape of a butt (a rounded lowercase w). Three animals come free and include step-by-step drawing, book pages, and shape search game (gorilla, tiger, ostrich). The inspiration behind the creation of the app is to instill a sense of fun and humor for piquing a child’s interest in art. To get kids started, the app gives a few sample pages from the book. There are a bunch of fun tools to work with like colored pencils, paintbrush of different widths and shades, a stamp pad as well as an eraser. The app guides the child along with tracing lines and step by step direction. The child can also choose the freestyle option by turning off the tracing lines.
The user also has the option to buy in app up grades that gives instruction for drawing more animals from the zoo. The user can also register for added benefits like creating multiple profiles, earning badges for drawing accomplishments, as well as making the art accessible from anywhere and saved forever. The drawings can also be emailed as they happen.
Children love adventure. Keeping this in mind, the app has an activity for the child where they can go on a butt hunt. Butt shapes are hidden all over in every illustration. They highlight as the child finds them, and a scoreboard keeps track.
What we like: The app is successful in engaging the curiosity and attention of the child by helping them learn to draw zoo animals beginning with one single shape: a butt. It is a humorous way to motivate the child to start drawing as smiling children are engaged children. This concept is taken further by making children go on a butt hunt.
Children earn badges for achievements while drawing. That’s helpful because it means parents are able to encourage their children on their progress and motivate them to earn more badges.
Engaging the parents in their childrens activity is another thumbs up for this app. There is no substitution for an engaged parent. The parents can get notification emails every time their children complete a new creation. This means that the parents can check out the new work online and can also share it via Twitter and Facebook. The artwork can also be posted to an online activity feed that notes the child’s profile, date, and the colors used in the image.
The app is equipped with a lot of the simple arts tools one would expect in a drawing app, like paintbrushes, pencils, erasers, colors and stickers. But it also has some additional functionalities like a smart centering feature when zooming out and multiple layers.
What we suggest: We would love to give the child more free rein to their creative thoughts. They can be encouraged to create their own piece of art using this shape and add to the existing list. The idea is to ‘encourage’ but not ‘restrict’ creativity. For example, more drawing aids can be provided to complete the piece of art with incorporation of backgrounds, shapes, characters and so on. This will help the child to build a story around their creation eventually leading to developing design thinking.
Overall experience: Parents love being able to engage and keep up with their children’s artwork and show it off. This is a simple way to get kids started on drawing while keeping parents in the loop. They do succeed in their mission which says “We don’t want our iPad app to be addictive. We want encouraging your child’s creativity to be addictive!” — Of course, if one does not mind the cheeky way to inspire the children to start drawing