Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Children's iPad App, Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch

Children's iPad App Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com


Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch
Free via iTunes

I've been researching iPad apps for kids that encourage creative thinking and learning, and will review them here over the coming months. Some will be free; some will be reasonably-priced. I'll be particularly looking for apps that are educational and family-friendly. Wait, lets be honest, they need to be BookChook friendly! I love apps that have great support, encourage learning, creativity or self-expression, are fun, value-for-money and simple to use. I don't like apps that have aggressive ads and in-app purchases. It's the aggression I object to - an app developer needs to make money, but some are completely over-the-top. If you're a parent or a teacher searching for such apps, read on. In my review, I'll put the Australian iTunes link. If you live in the US, you just need to replace the "au" in my link with a "us". Well, that's what works for me!

Can Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch be called an educational app? It sure can. I've chosen it as my first app for review because not only is its emphasis on divergent thinking, but kids will love it. It will suit under 8s best I believe, but is aimed at kids 5-12. Its goal is to encourage creativity and imagination. Within the app, kids are asked to imagine a world of magical beasts and help defeat monsters that attack the night zoo. Children do this by completing drawing activities on the very simple screen, which offers different colours, brushes and a fill tool. Pictures made within the app can be shared via email and saved.

Here's the iTunes description:

Night Zookeeper, the award winning creative project, presents Drawing Torch. Drawing Torch is a magical, drawing and story experience. You become a Night Zookeeper and take on creative drawing missions to look after thousands of magical animals and defeat the monsters that attack the zoo. What do you think a Spying Giraffe looks like? Can you turn one of your friends or family into a strange animal? Could you draw a frog, if a monster has stolen the colour green?

You will need all of your creativity and you better work on your ROAR!!!, because it's the only way to unlock the Drawing Torch's awesome power.

Feature set
* 10 cool colours
* 9 amazing tools including: fill, colour mixing and multiple brush sizes
* Simple email share and save on iPad
* 2 story chapters
* 22 unique missions
* Interactive introduction
* Complete user privacy and safety


First of all, I love Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch's emphasis on story! I love the quirkiness of creatures like spying giraffes, time-travelling elephants and singing fish. It helps that the app creators have given kids text for their eyes, accompanied by the same words read aloud, which is great for beginning readers. I also like the potential for kids to write about the creatures they collect and create. There's a unit of work based on the app for teachers, including free-to-download lesson plans. Kids can get a taste of Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch by registering at the website.

All this, and it's free!

7 comments:

  1. This looks like great fun! I love that children a draw what they see when they are reading the story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great topic, Susan! I think that with the advancements in iPad Apps today, it is important for children to be able to actively learn from the iPad Apps that they are going to be playing and I also think that this could be a very positive experience for them.
    Since they are literally growing up with this technology, it is great for there to be wholesome, entertaining, age appropriate applications for children and the fact that your blog is reviewing children’s apps is great!
    I particularly enjoyed the Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch review because, although the children are constantly learning the colors of the animals and the names of the animals, they are also putting their own creativity to work, which is something that I believe to be very important.
    Finding engaging, reputable and educational apps for kids is difficult sometimes, but this review definitely helps! I look forward to future reviews!

    Jeff Rivera
    Bestselling Author
    "UM ... MOMMY I THINK I FLUSHED MY BROTHER DOWN THE TOILET"
    http://amzn.to/RUltKc

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Jeff Rivera I agree. There are so very many apps out there but finding the best ones, or even good ones is not easy. I hope I can help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @JDaniel4's MomIt's an excellent app, very well-thought out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the review!! I am looking for an iPad app that will work instead of paintbrush. I use it to have kids create pictures, change them, save them, then put them in iMovie to animate. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Mr. JamesYou could possibly use Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch in this way, because it's possible for your students to draw in the app, save and then add to iMovie.

    However, there are many other drawing apps. I have downloaded some and am currently testing them. Does the app need to be free? Doodle Buddy is one suggestion.

    I am not quite sure what you mean by "change" them. Feel free to contact me via the button top left if you want to discuss further.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Mr. JamesYou could possibly use Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch in this way, because it's possible for your students to draw in the app, save and then add to iMovie.

    However, there are many other drawing apps. I have downloaded some and am currently testing them. Does the app need to be free? Doodle Buddy is one suggestion.

    I am not quite sure what you mean by "change" them. Feel free to contact me via the button top left if you want to discuss further.

    ReplyDelete

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