Recycling Workshop, the latest app from Jump App, is full of colour and creativity. A great companion to its sibling apps, Puppet Workshop and Imagination Box, it is a simple to use, child-directed creativity app. Your children will be able to make endless characters using recycled containers as a base and a range of recycled items as facial features and limbs.
Using the app
My children and I found the app very easy to use. The steps are simple:
- Choose a base from a variety of generic containers of different colours.
- Choose features from the different menus and drag them on to your character. Scroll up and down each menu to see the many different options for each category. Some items are drawn, but many are common items you may find around the home, e.g. Buttons for eyes, plastic cutlery or straws for arms, or a twisted chenille stick for a mouth. You are not limited to making “human” characters as there are props for animal features.
- Choose a background from several colours or even from your photos.
- Use the simple controls to resize, flip, and rotate each item to your preference. You can also undo actions.
- Simple drawing tools let you draw on the character or background, although you can’t draw over the features.
- Save a photo of your character
Junior Storytellers puts your child in the director’s seat to create simple animated stories with narration, using a variety of settings, characters and props. It is a great way for children to learn about how to build a story while engaging in creative play. There are two versions of the app available. I am reviewing the School Edition, which includes all content with the one price. The free version has limited content, with more story theme packs available with in-app purchase.
The main screen of the app is separated into four main sections: Create Story, My Stories, Awards and Settings.
There are two main story sections: Sandbox and Challenge.
Sandbox Mode – This section has two options: a learning mode and a create mode.
- Learn to Play guides children through making a story. It explains how to choose scenes, and to add, pose and change characters and props, and uses items from the Jungle theme only. It is a great place to start, and might also be helpful for children who might otherwise get a bit overwhelmed with choice.
- Create A Story gives children full access to the range of settings, characters and props. Children create a story one page at a time and can create stories of any length they choose.
Challenge Mode – This mode challenges children to create stories using a specific number of scenes. The first level is a single scene story and is a good place to start. Subsequent levels challenge children to create stories with several scenes. The first Level 1 has a single scene story, Level 3 has stories of 5 scenes, and Level 5 has stories with 9 scenes. The challenge mode starts with a quick video modelling the creation and recording of a story. After you have seen it a few times, it gets a bit tired, but you can tap on the big red cross in the top corner to turn it off. You can also turn the tutorial off using the app settings. Continue reading
Tiny Robot Maker by Australian developers, Tiny Twiga Studios, is a simple app packed with a lot of creative fun. Children choose from different options to create robots, and then can use these robots to create printable colour-ins, cards and invitations. The app is aimed at a young audience, but older children can have fun with their younger siblings, as my children did, and the app might also be suitable for older children with special needs.
While I love my iPad, one thing I’ve found frustrating is the inability to access Flash websites. My children are allowed to access the Internet under my supervision, and the iPad is great for this as they can have the iPad wherever I am. Even a laptop doesn’t have that kind of flexibility (and I don’t want kids carrying laptops around the house). The big frustration has been their inability to access Flash sites, including one site that is part of their weekly homework. It means relocating to another room to sit with them while they do their task, while mine remain undone just that bit longer. (Could being a slave to their education be my excuse for a messy house?)
Rover changes all of that. It has been designed specifically for the educational needs of teachers and K-12 students and packs a lot of features into a free app. Continue reading
So your child goes up to their teacher and says “I’ve done my homework, Sir. You can download it from the iTunes Bookstore….for a small price!” Okay, selling homework on the iBook store is a little far-fetched at this stage, although it is possible, but how cool would it be to email your creative writing project to your teacher to be read using the iBook App and stored in your class/school iBook library?
Book Creator does exactly as its name suggests: it creates books (with a little help from the authors, of course.). With Book Creator, you can quickly create a standard or audio iBook that can be read using the iBook App. The amazing thing is that you can pack so many features into a free App. With Create Books, you can add your own illustrations, text, narration, or sound track to your iBook. Continue reading
Image via Wikipedia
One of the first and best Apps on my iPad is Keynote. You might have heard it referred to as “Apple’s answer to Powerpoint.” iMac users who use the iWork programs will be familiar with it, although the iPad version does not have all the features of the Mac OS version, an obvious example being sound. That being said, it is still brilliant, and more features are sure to show up in future updates. Continue reading