The Anti-Coloring Book App, by Susan Striker, for iPad and Mini iPad is an art application designed to stimulate creativity, promote critical thinking skills, foster flexibility and celebrate art. The app is also a welcome alternative to the many violent games and apps children are exposed to. It addresses positive development of social and emotional skills. In fact, the motto is “MAKE ART! NOT WAR!”
The app uses technology to simulate working with actual art materials, such as chalk, crayon, ink, and paint. There are no “magic” buttons that automatically provide clip art or instantly fill areas with color. One can even remove and re-design portions of the app itself. To reach their goals, players must rely on their own fine motor skills and use their imaginations. All of the 40 or so activities can be used as writing and/or discussion prompts. Every activity in the app has a link and recommends a storybook to read about the subject of the activity.
Albert Einstein has been quoted saying that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” In the future, our children will be embarking on careers that don’t even exist now and may be called upon to solve problems we can’t possibly anticipate. The Anti-Coloring Book App offers age appropriate art activities that develop entrepreneurial skills, adventuresome spirits, and opportunities for children to learn how to think for themselves and fantasize. “Where will you go on your magic carpet?” “Entertain your parents with a tall tale.” “What does your dream car look like?” are typical of the many activities that go beyond even the common core’s mandates in education.
Watch this short video showing the app in action
Here is an article about the project in The Greenwich Time, 9/6/14