The best apps for kids who love to create
The kids have earned some screen time but you wish they would avoid those repetitive, non-productive games. Kidspot to the rescue! Bron Maxabella has rounded up her favourite eleven apps for kids who love to create for app inspiration.
Apps for creative kids


By Bron Maxabella for our sister site, Kidspot Australia. Please note that all recommended ages and costs were correct at the time of publication. Please check with the app provider for the current information.

 

There are so many apps out there that, quite literally at times, bring our kids’ imaginations to life. Pulling together a mere 10 for this story proved impossible so I’ve brought you 11 instead.

Here are 11 rather wonderful ways to get children of all ages creating all kinds of amazing things. Creative apps that help our children leave boredom in the box so they can think outside it. From apps that help them make music to apps that make them the star of the show to apps that bring their colouring-in to life, any one of these gems will quickly become your child’s new favourite.

1. Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch

Apple
Ages: 4+
Cost: Free

Kid approved app Night Zookeeper

A beautiful drawing app where kids are encouraged by a daily prompt to draw magical animals to add to their zoo. The daily prompts are exciting and ongoing, everything from creating mystical animals from objects the kids see around them to time-travelling elephants or fearsome monsters. They can play with their animals and older kids are encouraged to write stories about them. You can even send your child a personalised challenge to create something via the parent dashboard. The Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch is a sister app to this one.

2. Comics in the Classroom

Apple
Ages: 8+
Cost: Freemium (offers in-app purchases)

Kid approved app Comics in the Classroom

One for older kids, this app has a unique approach to teaching kids history, using digital comics to recreate history. Kids are encouraged to fill in their own speech bubbles to show their understanding of what history is all about. It features stories like Florence Nightingale, Jack the Ripper and The Dambusters. The app itself is free, but you purchase individual comics as you go.

3. Faces iMake

Apple
Ages: 5-10
Cost: $4.99

Kid approved app Faces iMake 2

This award-winning app lets kids create collages using everyday objects. There is an in-built instructional video led by artist and children’s book illustrator Hanoch Piven, who introduces kids to art techniques like perspective. He even throws in some discussion about more complex art theories like symbolism. The graphics are realistic and quite beautiful and kids can take photos of their creations to share via email or social media (you can control this bit).

4. Emlings

Apple | Android
Ages: 4 – 8
Cost: Free

Kid approved app Emlings 3

Developed in consultation with Dr Kirsty Goodwin of Macquarie University, Emlings has been developed to help children learn and grow in a digital world. Emlings exist in an imaginary world and Naders exist to eat their imaginations. The Emlings rely on kids to help them rediscover their lost imaginations by teaching them things like painting, singing, dancing and more. A cute thing about this app is that Emlings can be ‘found’ in the real world using your device’s camera (my son found one on the end of my nose). Kids will love searching your house for Emlings. Siblings can all play on the same device at their own level and there are no in-app purchases to worry about.

5. Happy Street

Apple | Android
Ages: 4 – 8
Cost: Freemium (offers in-app purchases)

Kid approved app Happy Street

A sweet app where kids can create their own happy place and populate it with happy-go-lucky critters. Kids can build a sizeable metropolis without spending any money on in-app purchases (you can disable these in the settings). Small quests like fishing, gardening, cooking and crafting earn ‘flooz’ (the game’s version of currency) which players can exchange for gold to build more of their town. A little tip for the kids: pop any balloons you see someone carrying for bonus gold!

6. Star Walk Kids

Apple
Ages: 4+
Cost: $3.79

Kid approved app Star Walk Kids

A brand new spin-off from the adult Star Walk, this app was recently released. You simply hold your iPhone or iPad up to the sky and the app follows your motions using an in-built gyroscope. Pretty cool, huh? The gyroscope means the app can identify consolations in real time and a friendly narrator tells you all about what you’re seeing in the stars. Cute little cartoons bring the consolations to life on the screen. This is a beautiful way to bring the night sky to life for curious kids.

7. Caspar Babypants Music Time!

Apple
Ages: 3 – 8
Cost: $2.49

Kid approved app Caspar Babypants

If the name of this app seems a little out there, it might help to know that Caspar Babypants is the stage name for Chris Ballew – ex bass player for The Presidents of the United States of America (think “Peaches” and you might remember them). Since 2009, Caspar Babypants has been wowing the kids with alternative rock/punk kids music that has them dancing in the (supermarket) aisles. On this app, kids can play along with their favourite tunes, selecting either the xylophone or guitar to move through the chord changes or the drums to bash along.

8. Foldify Zoo

Apple
Ages: 9 – 11
Cost: $3.99

Kid approved app Foldify Zoo

A neat app for older kids, they can create 3D drawings of animals on the app and print them, cut them out and fold them up to create something real. Even if your child doesn’t rate their drawing skills, there are heaps of templates they can easily modify to suit their preferences. Kids can also browse other children’s creations and share their own. They can even import their own photos to feature in their 3D creations.

9. Toca Salon Me

Apple | Android
Ages: 3 – 6
Cost: $3.79

Kid approved app Hair Salon Me

This app is plain good fun - the kids can upload a photo of themselves and then are free to style their own hair, add accessories and create something wacky and wonderful. Makers Toca Boca are well known for creating quality, well-imagined apps for kids of all ages – check out Toca Town (lifestyle seekers), Toca Pet Doctor (animal lovers), Toca Builders (Minecraft wannabes) and Toca Lab (science buffs) too.

10. FriendStrip

Apple | Android
Ages: 6+
Cost: Freemium lite (offers in-app purchases)

Kid approved app FriendStrip

Children can star in their own comic strips using this app and their device’s camera. FriendStrip prompts all kinds of scenarios which kids need to add to, creating magical worlds or realistic story lines. It’s definitely one to fire up their imaginations and they will spend hours planning how to pose their shots and bring their strips to life. It’s one to grow with them too as you can buy different scenarios as the kids get more proficient. This is an app to bring siblings together as they will have a blast making strips together. Don’t be surprised if you’re roped into appearing in their photos!

11. ColAR Mix

Apple | Android
Ages: 3+
Cost: Free

Kid approved app ColAr Mix

Watch your little one’s eyes light up when you bring their colouring-in to life through augmented reality (adding virtual enhancements on top of the real world). You print out the drawings, your child colours them in, you take a photo of the new picture, load it into the app and WOW – their image is suddenly animated in 3D. This is such a treat for little kids and an eye-opening lesson in augmented reality for older ones. Either way, it’s beyond fun to have something they created on paper come to ‘real’ life in such an animated, exciting way.

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