Perhaps your tween is showing some serious artistic talent, or maybe you’re simply in need of a way to keep your toddler out of trouble when you go out to eat. Either way, our roundup of the best drawing apps for kids has something for budding artists of all ages, whether it’s guided instruction or good old fashioned doodling they desire.
1. Draw and Tell
An award-winning app, courtesy of the folks behind Khan Academy, Draw and Tell boasts a whole bunch of digital tools—crayons, paint brushes, stencils stickers and more—that encourage kids to experiment with different mediums, so to speak. Perhaps the coolest thing about Draw and Tell, though, is the voice recording and animation features, which allow young artists to narrate a story and watch their own artwork come to life.
2. Draw In
Fine motor skills get a boost from this basic drawing app—an exercise in precision that’s basically the inverse of ‘coloring within the lines.’ The activity involves following the outlines of a provided sketch as closely as possible to win stars, so tracing is the name of the game here. Best of all, your kid’s hard work will be rewarded when the app fills in the outline with color to show just how close your little Picasso came to perfection.
With Draw.ai kids choose from an extensive selection of artwork that they can then recreate with the help of animated step-by-step instructions. There’s also a neat auto-generated time lapse mode that allows kids to see their progress, and a coloring mode that boasts glowing pens for when the sketch is complete.
4. Draw Story!
This innovative app is actually an adventure game in which kids use their drawing skills to get out of trouble. By using an apple pencil or a finger, kids navigate their way through multiple levels as they create their own action-packed story. The end result is an immersive experience that sparks imagination while putting drawing skills to the test.
5. Doodle Buddy
Doodle Buddy gives kids the option to doodle on their own photos or over one of the many different ready-made backgrounds and then share their work with friends to connect over art. The app also includes over 1,400 stamps so budding artists can further decorate their designs, plus a smudge tool that allows kids to experiment with a tried-and-true sketching technique without getting their hands dirty.
6. Crayola Create and Play
This interactive drawing app features progressive, step-by-step lessons that walk kids through the process of sketching a variety of different characters with the help of dotted outlines. Of course, kids who are more interested in freestyling can always just switch into sketchpad mode and have at it.
7. Drawing With Carl
Drawing with Carl is an app that allows kids to upload a limitless number of pics, from family photos to silly memes, and use them as a canvas. Obviously, there’s lots of doodling potential, but this one also has some fancier features—including a pattern paint bucket, mirror drawing mode, and even talking stickers that parrot what you say.
8. Bini Drawing For Kids!
With more than 300 colorful drawings and sounds, and 100 different characters for young artists to explore, Bini Drawing for Kids is ideal for toddlers and little kids who have a desire to color and trace. Bonus: There’s also a menu of over 100 tasks (i.e., artistic undertakings) that the more serious student can see to completion with the help of voice prompts.
Slightly older kids with a keen interest in art can see their skills improve by leaps and bounds with ArtWorkout—an app that features interactive courses in drawing, sketching, doodling, painting and handwriting. There are over 200 different step-by-step lessons on offer, all of which are manageable and age-appropriate, and a host of quick tips and tricks for artists of any experience level to reference. Best of all, this interactive app will actually evaluate the quality of a kid’s work, so they can track their progress (and delight in their improvement).
10. Joy Doodle
Toddlers and young kids can doodle to their heart’s content on this one—a basic, but thoroughly engaging drawing app that allows kids to create unique designs on either a blank background or uploaded photo using any combination of the 20 different magical paint brushes available. Plus, kids are sure to get a kick out of watching a playback of their creative process once the work is done.
11. Draw It
High-energy kids who think art is too mellow an activity will be singing a different tune when they get their hands on Draw It—an app that turns drawing into a fast-paced competition. The objective of this multiplayer game is to sketch as many objects as possible before the clock runs out, and the challenge guarantees a whole lot of frantic, creative fun.
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