Parents are always looking for ways to keep their kids meaningfully engaged when spending time at home. How about inspiring your kids’ creativity in ways that are both educational and fun? If the answer is yes, help them download an app … or three. Here are some of the best creativity-boosting apps for kids—and they’re all free.
1. Let’s Create: Pottery // Apple, Google Play
Let’s Create: Pottery is a fantastic app that lets kids sculpt pottery and make beautiful pieces of artwork without the messiness of real clay. They can choose to either copy pre-existing pieces from different cultures around the world, or create their own pottery from scratch. While the virtual clay is spinning on the pottery wheel, kids mold the clay by tapping or pressing lightly on the screen. Once they’re done, they get to fire their pottery in the kiln and then decorate their creations with colors and patterns. If you happen to have a 3D printer, you can make real physical pieces.
2. Plum’s Creaturizer // Apple; Google Play
Plum’s Creaturizer is a great app for getting young kids interested in photography. Developed by PBS Kids, this award-winning app lets kids create their own colorful creatures by combining different body parts (hence the name), and then encourages them to photograph these creatures in four different “habitats.” The photos can be combined into slideshows depicting a day in the life of their creatures.
3. Story Dice – Story Telling // Apple; Google Play
This app is sure to get the creative juices flowing in kids of all ages. It features 40 virtual dice—each with six different images in different categories—for a total of 240 different images. Kids shake their devices to roll the dice and create stories that connect all the images that emerge. Encourage your kids to use this app together with their friends to see who comes up with the most suspenseful or fun stories and have them write them down.
4. Toontastic 3D // Apple, Google Play
Few things are more fun than making your own cartoons. Toontastic 3D is an app that lets even the youngest kids do just that. It includes various story outlines, scenes and dozens of colorful characters. Kids can either use those characters or create their own with simple drawing tools, press “record” and then move characters around and narrate the story with their own voice recording. They can add a musical score, and put all the pieces together in a single 3D cartoon. The app also has cartoons created by other kids and useful storytelling tips.
5. TeleStory // Apple
TeleStory lets your kids pretend they are television producers, directors and writers who star in their own shows. They get to plan their shows, write the scripts, rehearse, record and perform in them, and then edit the completed shows. It features model shows and general templates that they can use if they need inspiration. It also has theme music, sound effects, animation and digital costumes that kids can wear.
Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.