Friday, January 27, 2012

Doodlecast for Kids

Doodlecast for Kids was created by zinc Roe, recommended for children 3-5 and is a drawing app that families can do together. After my post about parental misconceptions, I wanted to find an app that really highlighted how apps can encourage family interactions. Doodlecast is a great example of this - putting the interaction itself front and center. Price: $1.99

Device Requirements: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; Requires iOS 4.3 or later

Developmental Appropriateness: Drawing is great for kids of any age. It's a pretty basic activity that kids like to do. Where this app takes it further and really maximizes on what technology can offer is by recording the drawing so that it captures both the process of the drawing and the conversation that takes place. These recordings can then be shared with other friends and family near and far. The recording feature also encourages kids to tell stories, which promotes literacy. The app also provides a bunch of prompts, or "starting points" to encourage conversations about topics like "clothing" or  adjectives like "stinky". These are great teaching opportunities and are the type of quality interactions that should be occurring.   Rating: 5/5 (I'll stick with the developers' recommendation of 3-5)

Balance: This app is very straightforward. It's very easy to use, with a simple looking design, nothing distracting. The only part where it took me a little bit to figure out was the the while color acts as the eraser. There's an "x" icon, but that clears the whole picture, and that's what I ended up doing when trying to redo something. So maybe a clearer indication of the eraser is needed. Rating 4.5/5

Sustainability: Kids love to draw, so I'm not concerned about this app's sustainability and this is a great way for them to do that anywhere, without having to find materials. I could see for the older kids, that maybe some add-on features like being able to change the background color or having sparkly markers would be enticing. I've definitely seen kids get really excited when you offer them color construction paper (why does orange always get left behind?) or cool new markers. Rating: 4.5/5

Parental Involvement: I think I've already said what I need to say here - this is the best I've seen so far for not only parental, but family involvement. Rating: 5/5

Total: 19 out of 20: five stars


  1. I thought I would comment with some similar apps for Android.

    Drawing Pad by Murtha Design Inc.($1.99) -
    This one looks really nice and has a multitude of drawing utensils (pen, pencil, maker, brush) as well as stamps and clip art. The user interface makes this one very pleasant to use and my daughter likes it a lot. The only downside she experiences is when she attempts to color in the entire page. She will go so fast the device cannot keep up. We got this one free from the amazon daily freebie a while back. It is also available on Nook Color/Tablet.

    Kids Paint by Virtual GS (Free-$1) -
    On the free version, some parents have complained in reviews that the ads are inappropriate. I have not seen that. My daughter seldom uses this app. I think this one has the ability to record, but do not have it in front of me to check. I do know one of her drawing apps do this.


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