App review by Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013
PicsArt For Kids
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PicsArt for Kids

Draw, color, trace with unique elements, but too many layers may frustrate

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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Grades
K–2
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Health & Wellness, Creativity, Critical Thinking

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5 images

Pros: Tracing, finish-the-drawing, and shape activities are important for emergent writers and artists, and they're covered well here.

Cons: There are too many layers for young users to navigate, thumbnail displays are too small, and some content lacks depth.

Bottom Line: Offers features most comparable apps don't have, which is great, but its audience may get frustrated with functionality issues on Android versions.

Help students sharpen their shape knowledge by letting them play around with the app, and treat them with the coloring and tracing activities. It could also work well as a fun warm-up activity for special-needs classes.

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PicsArt for Kids is a drawing and coloring app for preschoolers and younger elementary-age kids, with a few added educational pluses. Kids can create digital drawings and coloring pages; practice fine motor and pre-emergent writing skills by tracing swirls, waves, and zig-zags; and re-create line drawings using simple shapes.

The main menu offers three modes: Draw, Color, and Learn. Kids select a background in Draw mode, then select colors or Dice mode, which adds various effects and options randomly. Color mode offers semi-stereotypical coloring page themes including animals, transportation, monsters, and princesses. Learn mode offers mazes and dotted-line scenes for tracing practice, as well as open-ended, shape-based drawing lessons. Kids can tap to erase, delete, or save their work to the gallery.

The Dice feature and ability to change colors infinitely in Color mode will keep kids fascinated with the unlimited possibilities. Learn mode offers only a handful of tracing activities (mazes really aren't the same) and just a few more single-page drawing lessons and finish-the-drawing pages. Some kind of progression with more challenging tasks would keep older kids interested longer. In some of the free versions of the app, bottom banner ads often get in the way of seeing all the content (in the case of the mazes, it's vital content). On Android versions of the app, kids have to use the back button to leave page layers (and four layers is too many for younger kids), and kids are prompted to exit to leave modes. While older kids will get used to this relatively quickly, younger ones might get frustrated and need some guidance.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Cute but detailed coloring pages, a good range of colors, and just the right number of controls should keep kids focused and engaged. 

Pedagogy

Kids will be empowered by choosing colors and images, just like in a real coloring book. Though there isn't a ton of depth in the learning here, kids can learn about shapes or experiment with freehand drawing.

Support

Navigation is a bit clunky on the Android versions, with too many layers for its target audience, and menu icons could use a bit more thought.


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