Whether or not one of your students is the next Leonardo DaVinci or Frida Kahlo, the best place for exploring their artistic creativity at a young age is with a drawing app. These drawing apps for preschoolers allow students to practice drawing shapes and coloring in, hone their fine motor skills and help develop their imagination. Learning how to draw on a tablet or smartphone can save money on materials such as paper and crayons, and can ease the dreaded cleaning up afterwards. Here are our top-ten favorite drawing apps for you to share with your young students in the classroom:
As the name suggests, this is a wonderfully visual drawing app for your young students. It has an easy to use interface with simple but effective methods of creation with their ‘desk drawer’ style palate. This multi-award winning drawing app allows students to choose brush strokes, colors, textures and erase mistakes easily, and even share their creations with others.
Different to the traditional drawing app, this app allows students to record their voice and actions as they draw. Fun for all age pre-schoolers, it’s up to their imagination what they draw, or you can choose templates or a storytelling prompts tool to ignite ideas, then play back what they have drawn. There is also an automatic record function so nothing gets lost. A great little app for students to discover their creativity.
More coloring-in than actual drawing, this app is perfect for younger pre-schoolers getting to grips with using a tablet, learning about colors and following lines. It has a very simple user interface which offers a black and white drawing, and a palate for them to fill in whatever color they choose.
How to Draw is a more advanced drawing app that has easy step-by-step instructions on how to draw animals, flowers and common objects narrated by a young boy. The narrator sketches out a line and students follow each step until the work is complete. Although the app is more suitable for older students who can follow instructions, it also offers coloring pages where younger students can color in images until they feel confident enough to draw objects.
For those young Surrealists out there, Kids Paint offers a different type of drawing. Choose random bright colors to give a unique and original twist to student masterpieces. You can also upload photos to the app and play around with colors. Simply shake to clear screen and start again. This is a free app, but it also offers an ads-free version.
Similar to Kids Paint with bright neon colors, Kids Doodle Color & Draw has an easy to use interface and sharing options, but also has more fun tools like a movie option, where you can animate your drawing. You can also draw on your own photos or use their built-in gallery for your students to show off their own unique creation.
123 Colour HD is both a coloring book and a language teaching app that teaches basic words, numbers, shapes and painting skills all in one package. This very popular app ‘speaks’ in Spanish, French, German, and English and uses a patent-pending finger painting technology to help keep kids painting inside the lines. However, although it is a little complicated for very young students to change functions without help, it is a worthwhile addition to any classroom looking to integrate creativity with language learning.
For cat lovers, Drawing with Kitty does exactly what it says. A narrated feline guides kids through drawings by tracing and coloring. It gives a step by step guide for kids learning simple objects by drawing things such as bees, umbrellas with background stickers, all with guided audio.
This app is a three-in-one learning app for kids. It allows kids to draw, color, and learn with three functions; using a blank canvas to doodle creatively, coloring in with built-in sketches from a gallery, or learning how simple shapes can be used to draw things that students are familiar with such as dinosaurs, fishes, cars and princesses.
Sounds like a software app for graphic designers, but don’t be fooled by this versatile app as it can be used by older pre-schoolers. White Board Pro allows kids to collaborate drawings with other friends and family, then publish them on their website’s gallery. Choose colors, opacity and save, then connect to a friend. However, the user interface is somewhat advanced and pre-schoolers might need help when sharing their creations.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.