Bottom Line: A fun, creative and FREE app with great graphics — lets kids create to their hearts' content with leaves, pinecones, berries and other fall goodies provided by Mother Nature. A rare find — an app this is incredibly high quality and yet completely free.
If you'd like to download 123 Kids Fun Autumn Designer (iPad ONLY, COMPLETELY FREE), please use our handy link so they'll know who sent you:
External links to social media, email and the app store in a somewhat protected parent section.
I'm about to give 123 Kids Fun Autumn Designer one of the highest bits of praise I can muster: its graphics remind me of those found in Bugs and Buttons and other apps by Little Bit Studio. Yep, that's right — this app looks nearly as good as one created by the kings of app graphics. 123 Kids Fun Autumn Designer by RosMedia is a gorgeous free-play art app that lets kids make pictures and stories using leaves, pinecones, berries, toadstools, and a ton of other stuff found in nature. The pictures are fun and allow for endless creativity, and the option to create an entire story from them, complete with text, is wonderful. And the best part is that it's completely free. Believe me when I say it's not often you come across an app of this quality that's free AND has no in-app purchases.
Kids can choose to create an individual picture, which can then be saved to a bulletin board, edited later or emailed to Grandma, or they can create an entire book. Options include text, a pencil that writes in a variety of colors, an eraser, and the ability to incorporate photos from your device into your tale. And although the creative building blocks here are fall-themed, I can't imagine my daughter is going to tire of this app even as the weather changes.
I'm not particularly creative when it comes to visual arts, so I had a hard time envisioning what to do with all the pieces available to me to make pictures and books. That's where the app's other activity came in handy. In addition to composing their own art pieces, kids can also put together puzzles. And these puzzles are made from pictures that were created using the app. So if your creativity gene is out of whack, check out this section to get some ideas of all the crazy things you can create with this app. Also be sure to read the app's description in iTunes — it's full of good ideas of things you can do with Autumn Designer.
Autumn Designer contains no verbal directions — just a really great visual tutorial available with one tap. It's simple enough for very young users to enjoy on their own, but my almost-eight-year-old couldn't put it down, too. There is also a prominent button available to mute the music — hallelujah! The music is soft and non-offensive, but ANY app music gets old after awhile.
The app does include external links to the app store, social media and email, and while there is the small deterrent of having to press and hold the icon for a few seconds, it's not enough to keep kids out of places they're not supposed to be. I hope the developer will boost this protection in future incarnations of the app. Parents, be sure not to miss the "extras" link under "123 Kids Fun For Parents." It will take you to the developer's website, where you'll find additional games, coloring pages, phonics and math worksheets, and other fun stuff for your little rug rats.
My only complaint with this app is that there isn't enough of it. More! More! Could I put in my request for a winter version now? And if RosMedia could have a spring one ready in time for my daughter's April birthday, that would be great.
Grab this app — your creative kiddos will thank you.
Emilie is sorry to see fall replaced by winter in her part of the world this week. Snow. Blergh. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.