Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
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Kids Paint Free

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Basic drawing app overly limits options

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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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Grades
K-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Colors are vibrant, and watching the colors cycle is entertaining.

Cons: With no color control and no tools beyond drawing and erasing, kids won't find much depth or engagement here.

Bottom Line: Kids Paint Free is a bright, colorful art app, but it lacks the basic functionality kids need to truly express creativity.

Overall, this is a pretty basic drawing app that doesn't necessarily add to traditional lessons. At best, it could be a challenging experiment for some students: how to create art in a restricted environment.

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With Kids Paint Free, your students can create drawings with random colors or draw on top of photos they either take from within the app or select from their device's gallery.

They draw on the black touch screen or change the background color to a gradient shade of purple, blue, green, or orange, or change the background to white in the settings. Choosing the color wheel cycles the drawing through different colors, changing each line. If kids use two fingers, they can create a series of colorful lines. Kids can undo their last motion with an undo tool. When they're finished, they can save their creations to the device's photo gallery.

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Options are basic, but some are interesting. For example, the ability to draw on top of personal photos is appealing. The two-finger drawing option is particularly fun, and when students tap the color wheel to cycle through colors, it feels like animation.

Since the color changes when the artist lifts his or her finger, kids can experiment with writing or drawing without doing so. But kids are seriously restricted in what they can create. You get no tools to change shapes or change the textures of lines beyond thick/not thick, and background color choices are equally limited, as are the colors of random lines.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Drawing on top of their own photos will be entertaining for kids. Watching the color wheel spin can be mesmerizing, and the two-finger drawing feature ramps up the fun.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

The lack of options beyond line-width selection and photo uploads hinders the learning potential. Many apps, including free ones, do a better job of empowering kids to express their creativity.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Kids can save their creations to their device's photo gallery.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

2
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Featured review by
Donald P. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
1
Simplistic, frustrating drawing and coloring app.

There are plenty of other drawing apps available to choose from that do offer the ability to choose colors and have many more options than this one. The controls that are available (which are limited) can be difficult to figure out what they do and how they work. Even closing the app can be confusing and took me almost 5 minutes to figure out. The drawing tools are less than limited and the responsiveness of the app itself is spotty at best. Look at other apps for your artistic needs.

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