Awarded best German kid’s game in 2014, FingerPaint Duel from Cribster’s Fold-Apps, is a design copy game that not only helps kids organize themselves for competing one on one with a partner; it encourages accuracy and precision in drawing. Gameplay is easy and simple enough for even preschoolers to understand and participate. Select a category to draw – shapes, specials (which include flags, vehicles, animals and letters and numbers to name a few), and even the opportunity to design your own picture for dueling. There are so many possibilities for introducing concepts here. Do you need to learn traffic signs, flags of countries, or the name and shapes of foods? You can virtually create any visual you want your students to readily recall, and turn it into a game, and make learning fun. What’s great, are the multisensory avenues to enhance a child’s experience. Using vision and the act of drawing not only reinforces retaining concepts, but also facilitates visual motor skills. Add a stylus, and you have an activity to help develop hand muscles for writing.
Once a category is selected, each player holds the ready button to start. This helps anchor kids to look at the iPad and organizes oneself to play. It also decreases impulsivity by learning to wait. The screen then shows what you are to draw and all the needed colors and materials are also presented. The shaded prompts help suggest where and what colors are needed to complete your drawing, and in the advanced levels this prompt is faded adding to the difficulty level. There is no time limit, and this provides time and space to plan and execute your drawing. On completion, you must hold the “done” button to enter your drawing for judgment. Points are awarded for speediness and accuracy. One of the best features to gameplay is the “fairness” button which equalizes the playing field for two opponents that may have varied drawing skills. If a particular player has won a number of times, the duel is then graded in its level of difficulty for the more skilled player. It really makes playing fun for all involved as most kids know if you are downplaying to allow them to win. Taking this out of the equation helps build confidence and initiation after they have beat you in a round or two.
I love this app for its simplicity and the ability to engage with another on the spot. Social skills such as good sportsmanship and how to be gracious whether you win or lose are readily available to practice. And for kids that have difficulty with color sense, FingerPaint Duel serves as a model to expand color choices. There is both a family and educational version of this app. The EDU version, allows for 15 players – handy for seeing many kids. I would like to see in future updates, the ability to return to home during play and the ability to have a few more students on roster. The home button would allow you to exit, if you found a drawing too difficult or frustrating for a child. They offer a “try before you buy feature”, that lets you play and then decide if you would like to buy the app, so there is no reason not to give it a spin and see if it is right for you and your students.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.