Sunday, May 4, 2014

Best Apps for Toddlers: Live Colors for Kids — a finger painting app with great age-appropriate language

Purpose of App: Virtual finger painting for the youngest users.

Strengths: Easy to use app for young children with bright colors and movement as well as good use of age-appropriate language. It provides more difficult levels for children as they grow, such as mixing colors and matching a picture.

Weaknesses: None

Suggested Audience: It was developed with children under one year of age in mind, but this app could be used for any toddler.

Bottom Line: A finger painting app that allows children to color using any color they want, but it has suggested colors for children learning to match and copy. Six basic colors can be used or colors can be mixed for new ones. Whether coloring a picture or creating a masterpiece from a blank canvas, young children will enjoy coloring with this app.

Meets Intended Goal
Worth the Price
Ease of Use
Educational Value
Level of Customization

If you would like to download Live Colors for Kids ($0.99, iPad/iPhone), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:

External links are behind a parental swipe lock. Links go to iTunes store and to social media. The app and finished pictures can be shared on social media.
Omega-R Inc. released this new app in January and updated it this weekend. With the update, they also have set the price to $0.99, which is a great price for what you get with this coloring app. Live Colors for Kids provides virtual finger painting that allows the littlest of fingers to paint on pictures or on a blank canvas. The language used in the app is also great for children who are a little bit older and starting to learn colors.

The main menu is clean and easy to navigate with only four options. Choose between a blank canvas or pictures to paint, or check out "my drawings," which contains all of the saved pictures. "For parents" provides some information for parents with access to the external links. The parent section is behind a swipe parent lock. 

There are 20 different pictures for a child to choose from, mainly items found in nature. Each picture includes some animation that is appealing to a young child. When a picture is opened, a well-spoken voice tells what is in the picture and gives a purpose for coloring, such as "It's a pear. Let's color the pear yellow, so that the caterpillar sees it."  The caterpillar is animated and moves across the bottom of the screen while a child colors. As a color is chosen, the name of the color is spoken aloud for the child. I found the verbal instruction to be a great addition to this painting app. When most of the picture has been colored in, trumpets sound and the child is positively reinforced on a job well done.

Each picture or blank canvas has six different colors to choose from, with the extra option to mix colors to make more. Tap the palette at the bottom of the screen to drag colors together and mix them for new colors. A question mark symbol can be tapped to view what the mixture will make. Mixing colors is a higher-level skill that some children will not need, but I appreciate it being accessible in any case. Children also have the ability to erase when needed.

For children ready for a bit higher skill than coloring alone, there is a finished picture in the top right corner of the screen, along with colored outlines. A child can use the outlines and the picture to match the colors. This provides a focus for children who are learning colors and learning to color with appropriate colors.

Once a picture is completed, tap the camera button to save it within the app in "my drawings." It can be shared to social media from the album, but this does require a swipe on the screen for a parental lock. Any picture can be saved and finished later, and they can also be erased and started again. 

Live Colors for Kids was created for the youngest of app users, but the developers added depth into the app to allow it to grow with a child. Although there are only 20 pictures for a child to color, the creativity of this app is endless with the blank canvas option. For only $0.99, this app is definitely worth the price, and it provides entertainment and great educational value. I highly recommend this app as one of the first apps a child should enjoy.

Heather S. has always enjoyed coloring. It is very relaxing!  Smart Apps for Special Needs was paid for a priority review.

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