Young children love to color. Sometimes, they inappropriately express their creativity by coloring on walls. Not good. So, as parents or teachers, we have to provide them with a proper outlet for channel their passion: coloring books. However, on a road trip, bringing along a set of crayons and coloring books can be cumbersome. So, does the iPad provide any adequate substitutes?
I tested the 123 Color HD Talking Coloring Book for iPad and the Color & Draw for Kids iPad apps on a young audience. Both apps were easy for the kids to figure out. Although both apps are coloring apps, they operate differently. The off-line analogue to 123 Color is the color-by-numbers books that I remember from my childhood. Of course, the numbers and letters are only suggestions and the young artist can color using whatever color he or so desires. For younger children, these masterpieces usually end up monochromatic, but that is perfectly fine. 123 Color is also the easier of the two to operate since 123 Color operates more like a fill brush instead of a true paint brush. So, the hard work is picking out the correct color scheme instead of focusing on coloring within the lines. Color & Draw for Kids is a bit more complicated. You actually have to use your finger to paint. This app is fun in a different way from 123 Color. Of the two, the kids preferred 123 Color. Both apps only cost $1.99, so the risk that your kids will not fully appreciate one of the apps is minimal. I only wish that the apps operated for both iPhone and iPad so that the kid on the iPhone could also color while the other one was coloring on the iPad. Regardless of how great an app is, I am hesitant to buy one version for the iPhone and another for the iPad.