Kids and creativity go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. However, between school, after school activities, homework, chores, and all the other things our kids have to do every day sometimes finding the time to get creative can be a challenge.
While my kids are self-motivated to create, having the right materials available makes all the difference in the world. Art materials, crafting supplies, fabric and more are available around our house, but we find more and more our kids are gravitating towards using technology to get creative. With a dad who is a computer programmer and robotics mentor, a mom who is a blogger, and a tech-loving household it’s no wonder our kids have a love of apps to help them create.
My friend Grace recommended the Toontastic app to us awhile ago, and it’s been a favorite ever since we first played with it. Toontastic is an iPad app which helps young kids learn to craft stories, create a story arc, and even act out their story with fun backgrounds and cute characters while recording it all to share!
When a project is complete kids can upload the videos to a safe (and parent-approved) toon network, ToonTube. Every time the kids create a new video I get an email, watch their creation, and approve it. They love sharing their videos, especially finding out how many ‘likes’ and ‘views’ their videos have. The more likes you get, the more characters you can unload. (so please share a like with them on the one below!)
It reminds me of the stories I used to create on an old-school tape recorder, or the ones I would illustrate and write by hand, only our kids get to create whole worlds with a few swipes of their fingers.
This how to Toontastic video by my 9-year-old daughter will show you the basics of creating a story/video for Toontastic.
The app is free to download, but you can buy a package that includes the option to make their toons private, as well as a variety of new characters and backgrounds for $9.99.
Toontastic Jr.: Toontastic’s younger sibling
Recently Launchpad Toys (makers of Toontastic) created a new app, Toontastic Jr. The app uses the same concepts to help kids create stories with a pirate twist. Toontastic Jr. includes 12 animated Story Starter videos and ton of characters and settings to help kids create stories. In many ways it’s similar to Toontastic, but the options are simplified for younger kids.
At $1.99 it’s a great deal for not only full access to the app, but also to their unique feature, StoryShare, which allows you to create a story with someone else! Watch the video to learn more about how Toontastic Jr. works.
Not only will kids have a blast using Toontastic Jr. to create their own pirate adventures, but they can have grandparents, their friends, and family members help them create their story!
Toontastic Jr. Reviews:
Audrey’s (age 9) Review: “I like the pirate theme, it’s a LOT of fun.” “It’s easy to use like Toontastic, but the StoryShare was the most fun!”
Aidan’s (age 7) Review: “The pirates are awesome!” “It’s ‘funner’ than other apps.” “I like to play it because I can make funny stories.”
Mom’s (that’s me!) Review:
I love Toontastic and Toontastic Jr. because they encourage the kids to create instead of consume. There are no annoying prompts for sharing to Facebook, or levels you play only to be meet with an upgrade price of $5 or more. I’m looking forward to using the StoryShare feature to connect with the kids while I’m away. While I can call or Skype they either get distracted, or make silly faces at my for as long as they can. With StoryShare we’ll actually be able to play together no matter where we are!
Toontastic Jr. is a great way to teach kids storytelling skills, creativity, as well as learning to create videos, and utilize technology in their creative process.
Learn more and download ToonTastic Jr. available for iPhone and iPad.
Disclosure: This is a compensated post on behalf of Launchpad Toys, but all opinions are my own.