I was compensated in exchange for my honest review of this product. All opinions expressed are my own (and my daughter's since she played the game too).
My six-year old daughter loves to doodle. She is constantly drawing pictures and delivering them to our family mailboxes and taping them up all over the house. I am in awe of the creativity she possesses, especially since her artistic talent was not inherited from me. I try to encourage this passion she has for art, but the paper covering our refrigerator and lining our walls has been getting slightly out of hand lately.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner to find out if “there’s an app for that” because, of course, there is. It’s called Mini Monet Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids Lite and it’s a child’s fantasy art studio contained within an iPad.
At first, Mini Monet appears to be just like every other kids art app. You have different pictures to choose from and blank canvases where you can choose what colors to use and what type of tool (pencil, paint brush, color block). My daughter has played with those types of games before so she had no trouble navigating through the menus and using these features.
One feature that I love is the symmetry pages. I think these are great for helping kids learn to draw. They come in varying levels of difficulty so as your child gets better, they can continue improving this skill. Here’s one of the easy ones:
The game includes a Magic Pencil. When kids draw with the magic pencil, it keeps brush strokes, marker and paint from spilling out (i.e. guaranteed coloring within the lines). This is a great feature for younger children who might still be struggling with fine motor skills.
‘What my daughter got excited about were all the other options she had for enhancing her pictures. She had fun adding stamps, stickers, and glitter to her pictures. She was also happy that she could save all of her creations in an album that she could revisit and show off to all of us. Here she is with one of her creations:
The most original aspect of the game, in my opinion, is the weekly challenge. Each week, a new drawing challenge is posted. Kids get two new stickers whenever they participate in a challenge. I wasn’t sure how much of an incentive that would be but my daughter got so excited about collecting new stickers. Because all of the former challenges remain posted, she has access to all of them. In the Lite version, she is able to participate in up to 10 challenges.
In addition to collecting stickers, the game awards virtual coins as your child plays with the app. These coins can be used to purchase bonus content from the Art Store. My daughter’s excitement over the stickers was nothing compared to how delighted she was with these coins. I was delighted at this unexpected lesson in budgeting and money management from a game that I thought would simple be an outlet for her creativity.
As the parent, you have the option of creating a profile for your child so that they can view other kids’ completed challenges. This community area is called “The Art Club.” It’s a safe area where kids can view each other’s artwork and draw inspiration from one another. If you choose to upgrade to the premium version, your child will have the option of sharing his or her artwork in the Art Club too. All submissions are anonymous so your child’s privacy would be protected.
The basic features of the app (coloring pages and blank canvases) are easy enough for young children to use. My daughter was playing with other apps that allowed her to draw and color as young as three with help and unassisted at age four. The challenges though, are designed for kids who are six to eight years old. I love that the app has room for my daughter to grow with it.
You can try almost all of the features for free in the Lite version so you can see for yourself what a great app this is for kids. The premium version is just $1.99 and will provide your child with over 100 more coloring pages, the ability to share their creations in the Art Club, and additional content.
You can download Mini Monet Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids Lite from iTunes or the app store.
The Mini Monet Creative Studio and Art Club for Kids Lite was created by Sprite Kids.