Common Sense Review
Updated September 2015

ABCya Animate

Easy-to-learn tool empowers beginning animators
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Quickly create and watch original animations.
  • Draw or choose images to use.
  • Create original backgrounds or use one from the app.
  • Kids can choose the speed the frames change.
  • Creations can be exported to the camera roll.
Short video tutorial shows how to use controls and create animations.
Provides no option to add narration.
Bottom Line
Kids learn how animations work and how to create their own.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Commands are very kid-friendly, and kids will quickly see their creations in action, rewarding their efforts and encouraging them to create more.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids learn how animation works through hands-on exploration. Plenty of space is available to save new animations, so kids can create, watch, and improve upon their animations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

A video tutorial shows how to use all the commands. Animations are saved in the gallery and can be exported to the camera roll for sharing beyond the app.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Use ABCya Animate to show kids how animations are created. Once kids understand how animation works and how to use the tool, they can use it to create short animated movies to demonstrate their understanding in many other subject areas. After a study on insects, for example, kids could create an animation of the life cycle of a butterfly. Or they could use the app to retell a short story read in language arts or bring to life an event studied in social studies. The possibilities are endless, especially in project-based learning environments. This creative tool will engage kids and help them demonstrate their knowledge and solidify their understanding.

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What's It Like?

ABCya Animate helps kids easily create their own animated movies as a video tutorial shows them how to use each of the commands. Starting from a white screen, kids can create their own background (from the iPad's camera roll) or use one from ready-made library of. They then draw using four sizes of pencil and 36 colors, or add images from the categories of transportation, landscape, animals, foods, people, and fun objects. They can move and size objects, flip them, or arrange them in front of or behind other objects. To save a frame and add it to the film roll, kids hit "copy frame" and then add to the next frame -- up to 99 frames. They can set the background, view the previous frame, and clear a frame easily. There's no way to record voice-overs or add custom music, though the background tune can be changed in the parent/teacher section. Movies can be played once or on a loop. Creations can only be saved to the gallery on the device or exported to the camera roll and shared from there.

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Is It Good For Learning?

ABCya Animate is a blast for kids who want to dip their toes into animation. The drawing interface is easy to navigate, and all the commands are visible on-screen. With 99 frames, kids have plenty of room to build a short animated film, and the dozens of included images provide the versatility to incorporate lots of elements. Kids can't add their own narration, which limits ABCya Animate when compared to other animation apps like Toontastic and PIXEL'd. The video tutorial is very helpful for showing kids how to create animations, so consider this app a good introduction to the animation process and a way for kids to successfully create some basic animations.

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