Common Sense


10 Best Arts Tools for Middle School

In middle school, students become more aware of the world and their place in it. They're naturally inclined to work through these thoughts and feelings by creating art. We've put together this list of great arts tools for middle school, with an eye toward a range of styles and mediums sure to satisfy the diverse tastes, interests, and talents of your middle schoolers. Whether they're inclined to make movies, games, music, paintings, or social connections with fellow young artists, these tools effectively enhance creative abilities and encourage self-expression.

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DIY App - Creative Community for Kids

From cardboarding to cooking, this app helps kids find the fun in DIY

Bottom line: Fabulous way for kids to get skills and share their projects digitally.

Green Screen by Do Ink

Versatile, easy-to-use moviemaker yields great results

Bottom line: High-quality movie maker has numerous uses for students projects.

Adobe Capture CC

Magical design tool extracts colors, patterns, and more from images

Bottom line: The rare combo of "wow" factor and utility, this tool help students recognize and use the designed world around them.

Paper by FiftyThree

Beautifully designed digital sketchbook for any age

Bottom line: The simplicity and effectiveness of the app make this a powerful sketch and note-taking tool for the iPad.

Sketchbook Express

Creation tools hook kids, connect them with global community of artists

Bottom line: Solid resource encourages students to get creative in the classroom.


Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity

Bottom line: There's exceptional functionality in this solid, all-inclusive audio workstation that's fantastic for high-quality, anytime, and anywhere audio recording and sharing.

Canva - Graphic Design & Photo Editing

Create snazzy designs in seconds with flexible, cloud-based tool

Bottom line: A flexible, accessible way to get kids -- especially design novices -- creating digitally in your classroom if you have stable internet and time to get students set up to be successful.

GameMaker Studio 2

One of the best creation tools available for aspiring game developers

Bottom line: Provides teachers with the best choice for a full unit or class on game design, and gives students a tool to help them realize their game-making dreams.

The Orchestra

Stellar interactive features bring classical music vibrantly to life

Bottom line: A terrifically designed tool that invites students into the often unwelcoming world of classical music in a way that deepens appreciation and understanding of the complexities and beauties of the art form.


Terrific composition tool empowers budding musicians to create, share

Bottom line: An excellent tool for writing and sharing musical creations.

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