Screens have become a part of our daily lives.
Whether it’s a laptop, mobile phone, tablet or television, new technology has opened up many possibilities in all kinds of sectors, including education.
Before this kind of technology become available to the general public, art for youngsters was mostly restricted to felt pens and paper or colouring books.
In the digital age, children learn to create art electronically, too.
With a large number of apps and websites available, there are now many ways for children to learn how to draw a portrait, get the hang of drawing animals, learn to draw a rose, and many other things!
So, let’s have a look at some useful mobile apps and websites for children learning to draw.
Using Screens to Draw Without Going Too Far
Before we look into the fabulous selection of drawing tools available for arty children, let’s first look into the use of screens.
Experts recommend that children should not spend too long using screens, as this can disrupt sleep and harm their development.
This is the advice that is given according to the age of the child:
- Before the age of 18 months, children should not be exposed to screens
- Between the ages of 2 and 6, their usage of an electronic device should be limited to an hour a day
- From the ages of 6 to 12, a limit of 2 hours per day should be imposed
Regardless of age, tablets and smartphones do not replace parents and should not be used as a method of distraction by parents.
It’s important to bear in mind that letting children use interactive devices (such as smartphones and tablets) is better than sitting them in front of the television, as interactive devices keep their brains active.
Let’s move onto the serious side and look at the different tools you may use to teach your child how to draw.
Apps for Learning to Draw
They say there’s an app for everything.
Some are incredibly well-designed, whereas others aren’t very helpful.
We’ve compiled a varied list of everything you need to know in your search for drawing apps as you navigate the Appstore.
Certain apps are useful for helping children learn to draw shapes or reproduce real-life objects, but others give the child a bit more independence in their art and let them draw freehand. Either way, drawing helps children acquire new skills and sharpens their hand-eye coordination.
The fun aspect of using a tablet gives children an opportunity to see a different side to drawing and take a new approach to art.
Here are a few ideas of apps you may want to use (as long as they suit the child’s age and ability):
1. DRAWING for Kids and Toddlers
Young children will live this simple, intuitive and playful app.
All they have to do is choose a drawing and trace each step with their finger (as indicated by the app).
The choice of colours is up to the child, so they can add a bit of their own creativity to the drawings.
And once the drawing is finished, it comes to life as sounds are added and it dances around the screen!
- Price: Free
- Age range: 4+
- Superprof’s favourite feature: Step-by-step guidance so that children can reproduce characters on paper
2. Kids Doodle – Movie Kids Color & Draw
This app is for freehand drawing and offers its users a large scope for their drawings.
With fluorescent colours, a large choice of brushes sizes, the opportunity to draw with photographs or copy a drawing, children are free to let their imagination run wild.
And once your drawing is finished, you can see how you got there by playing a clip of how your drawing took shape!
- Price: Free
- Age range: 4+
- Superprof’s favourite feature: Replay your drawing from start to finish
Original and creative, this simple app lets children’s imaginations break free from the boundaries of the screen and use a pencil and paper.
To use the app, the child places the phone or tablet (which has an animal’s face on the screen) on a sheet of paper and add features (such as ears, legs and paws) to finish the drawing. Once the drawing has been finished, the face comes to life.
This app helps children understand the key elements to drawing the animals shown on the screen and encourages them to get used to using a pencil and paper, helping the development of their fine motor skills.
- Price: £99
- Age range: 4+
- Superprof’s favourite feature: Helps children to learn letters as well as animals
4. Squiggle Fish
This app brings children’s drawings on paper to life on the screen!
All they have to do is take a photo of a fish you have drawn on a piece of paper, and as if by magic, it becomes a part of the app and comes to life. This means you can sketch several fish and create your own aquarium before your eyes.
- Price: £99
- Age range: 3-7
- Superprof’s favourite feature: Stores drawings so you can build your collection of fish
This is a digital sketchbook where children draw with their fingers.
The app itself is presented as a peaceful game for children and doesn’t just help them draw certain objects step-by-step, they can also add a splash of their own creativity in the way they decorate the object they draw.
The drawings tell a story, and once they are finished, users can interact with them!
- Price: £99
- Age range: 4+
- Superprof’s favourite feature: Explore the three worlds and add colour to them along the way
This list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully, it has given you a starting point for finding drawing apps for your little one.
Great Websites for Learning to Draw
If you want to avoid relying on touch-screens but you would like to find resources that encourage your child’s creativity, heading to the internet is a good way to find educational and artistic material.
But what is the advantage to using the internet for this?
You can use the internet to find hard materials for your child. By printing out pictures to colour-in, children learn how to properly hold colouring pencils and get used to sketching on paper.
Going back to basics is essential to learning how to do anything – especially when it comes to art.
By keeping away from the digital world, children learn skills which set them up for future challenges such as learning how to write with a pencil.
Even if mobile apps may seem useful for a child’s development, they can never replace manual skills and drawing techniques.
There are websites that merge these two learning methods, such as Toupty!
This website is full of resources to download and print. You’ll not only find drawings to colour in, but also dot-to-dot drawings that your child can complete for themselves.
If you open the website on your tablet, you can also complete drawings online with your fingers.
Although this does not help children learn to grip a pencil, for example, it stimulates their imagination and gives them ideas for when they do not have access to a tablet.
Toupty is suitable for children of all ages and boasts a wide variety of activities.
Once children become passionate about drawing classes, they start asking their parents for ideas of what to draw next and how to draw it – but what if you’ve run out of suggestions, or you’re not so great at drawing?
When this day comes, the internet will come to your rescue!
Here are some websites which can give the answer to your child’s questions in pictures:
- HelloKids.com: Video drawing tutorials for simple drawings. An ideal first step in a child’s development of their artistic skills, helping them to gain confidence and find their personal drawing style.
- ActivityVillage.co.uk: Activity Village is a perfect website to keep your kids entertained. With simple, step-by-step drawing tutorials for all kinds of characters and interests available to view online and print out, this website will help your child build on their drawing skills and expand their repertoire.
- ArtForKidsHub.com: This website has video tutorials to teach your kids how to draw in a way that doesn’t require them to follow a set of written instructions, making it perfect for younger children who may find this difficult.
Regardless of the age of your children, every Brit knows about CBBC’s Blue Peter! This kids magazine show is well-known for its arts & crafts segments which encourage views to get creative whether it’s drawing, painting or building!
Having step-by-step tutorials on their favourite TV shows can inspire children to pick up a pencil and explore their creative side.
Don’t forget that when your youngsters are learning to perfect their artistic skills, the more tools, the better!
Remember that as a beginner in the world of drawing, your children will need your help, encouragement and support in addition to having access to appropriate tools to be able to put their ideas on paper.
It’s also important to let them explore the different mediums of drawing, starting with paints.
By having a go at painting with a paintbrush, with their fingers, stamps, sponges and many other tools, children can find out about their preferences when it comes to choosing materials to work with.
Want to find a great art tutor for your children? Check out Superprof's teachers for drawing lessons online or at home home across the UK. You can find drawing courses London, painting classes in Liverpool, photoshop lessons in Plymouth, and everything in between.