Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Doodlecast for Kids

Doodlecast for Kids

Spring 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 3 & Up
Artist: Aaron Leighton
Contributions From: Tim Shi
Designer: Davin Risk
Producer: Jason Krogh
Developer: zinc Roe design
Download Price: $1.99
Platform: iPad

A loveable app that allows players to record their drawing from start to finish, along with accompanying audio. It is a perfect example of how kids and adults can play together: they can take turns, discuss what they are doing, and prompt each other during the learning process. The prompts get kids started in drawing by asking open-ended questions, and there is also a 'blank' page that allows for free form drawing. There is value in kids being able to see their work progress over time, and for them to record the process, as well as the finished product. As a parent, it is simply charming to have a record of just what they were thinking when they created a given picture.

My youngest (4) still doesn't understand the concept of recording while drawing. He enjoys being able to watch what he drew, but feels frustrated that the 'clock has stopped', and he can't continue drawing. This minor inconvenience doesn't bother me, however, as there are plenty of apps that he can doodle to his heart's content. As a parent, I just go through and remove all the movies that he didn't mean to keep.

In addition to the inherent value of this app, I believe it is also a powerful gateway for non-iPad learning, in guiding parents on what kinds of things they can do to support kids when given crayons and a blank piece of paper.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
zinc Roe design
Available on iTunes

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