Monday, March 16, 2015

Children’s iPad App, Make Beliefs Comix

Children’s iPad App, Make Beliefs Comix
by Susan Stephenson,

Because I love to find ways for children to tell digital stories, or create with their iPads in some way, I was pleased to find there’s now an iPad app version of Make Beliefs Comix, a comic strip creator. At time of writing this review, it was free, so do check it out. It's a great app to promote to your kids so they are involved in some writing while they're creating a comic for fun.

From the developer:

To create your comic tales, you can select from 44 human and animal characters, each showing 4 different emotions for a total of 176 character choices – there's even a werewolf, vampire and poodle girl to stir things up. Then, put words in the mouths and thoughts in the heads of these fun characters as you fill in their talk and thought balloons. (Write in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin or Portuguese.) To enhance your stories, you also can choose which of the dozens of objects and scenes to add to the template panels where you place your characters.

You can work in two-, three-, and four-panel formats to create your comic stories, color in the backgrounds for extra impact, and scale the size of the characters to fit your storytelling needs.

Kids who’ve used the web-based version of Make Beliefs Comix will be familiar with the layout. Children new to the app will need to spend time investigating/playing. There are lots of characters to select from, as well as objects and backgrounds you can choose. These can be made bigger/smaller, moved, rotated etc via the menu at left. It’s simple and quick to save your comic or email it to yourself. You can see a sample comic I made, below.

Bill Zimmerman is a very generous man, and a great supporter of children's literacy. Not only is this app free, it’s free to use the website version too.  Bill has lots of useful resources free to download at the website, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re an educator or a parent interested in children’s education. In particular, check out the 350 free printables and the free e-books.

I’ll be adding the Make Beliefs Comix app to my list of Tools to Involve Kids in Digital Storytelling, and my Creating with Children and iPad Apps list. You might also be interested in my articles: Creative Thinking for Kids and Creative Thinking with Kids.

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