123 Kids Fun consistently make solid apps that are popular with the preschool set, and they are one of my personal favorite developers. Coloring Book offers older toddlers and preschoolers the chance to play with color sense and seeing objects or beings from the home, books, and games. Bringing the familiar with friendly faces helps set the tone for play and experimentation. Toddlers typically struggle with color sense when first beginning to make marks on paper to a specific design, and having the coloring book in an app form lets little ones have the flexibility to try out how colors work together. Let’s take a look inside. On opening choose a blank page to draw on your own, or select a pre-made coloring page of animals, toys, and common items kids see every day in books or at home (of which there are 59). Each illustration is hand drawn by the developer in 123 Kids Fun style and not just a clip art collection like so many of the other coloring books. There are plenty of tools to get your creative juices flowing. There are twenty-one colors and patterns for play, giving kids that new crayon box feels of choices. A wide variety of brushes with an array of textures and transparencies are included, and there is even a stenciling type brush that dabs with just a drop of color. For kids that want to color in large areas of space, “the bucket” is at your wait and call. By adding a chunky but small stylus, kids can also begin to work on grasp with writing utensils. When first learning to color or make marks on paper, kids are coloring with whole body movements. The coloring is initially for the pure love of movement and the final product is an exercise in cause and effect. Many times kids are overjoyed and surprised to see just what they’ve done, and that is why we see pink elephants and purple cows. The color is arbitrary. A trunk control and the ability to isolate movements in the arm and hand are in place, kids begin to coordinate vision with the act of doing. Here, visual and spatial senses arise, and coloring within the lines has more purpose and interest. That little spark of interest helps to shape awareness that grass is green and the sky is blue, and it's important to actually look at what one is doing. It never gets old to see that dawning of insight, and it’s one step further in reaching out to the world at large and becoming a part of it. For now keeping colors contained within boundaries in the app is on an experiential level for the very young, however, I would love to see having the option for the coloring not to be contained within the lines. Unless feedback is given, one cannot shape one’s habits – and making your marks too wide or too small will not be apparent, noticed, and amended in the future. Sometimes I fear not having this feedback sets kids up for frustration when transitioning to off screen art. The flip side to this is with the special needs population, where some kids may not be able to control where they are coloring. By having the option to stay within the lines, it offers them a finished product that is within their intentions for color. In summary, I heartily recommend 123 Kids Fun Coloring Book, and really any of their apps. They are always made for the love of children, well executed, and most of all – FUN! Check them out.
Written by Jo Booth
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 every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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