Before giving disapproving looks to parents who use the iPad to entertain their young kids, make sure you know what’s on the screen. There are some amazing apps out there that not only entertain kids but also educate them and engage their creativity. New coloring book app Everything Butt Art fits that bill.
Everything Butt Art started out as a coloring book that taught kids how to draw different animals by starting out with a shallow "W" double curve that's lovingly referred to as the "butt shape". Now, this series of fun and educational books has been made and into an iPad app with added features!
When we spoke to Brian Snyder, founder and CEO of Madbrook Publishing, at NYTechDay last week, he said that he used to draw a shape and challenge himself to see how many different things he could draw with that shape. When his son started doodling, Snyder said he wanted to show him how to be creative by thinking and rethinking about the possibilities of a simple shape -- like the double curve shape Snyder called the ‘Butt Shape.’ This creative thinking led to the original Everything Butt Art book where kids could trace that shape with pencils and now to the iPad app where they can draw on the tablet.
To see how the Everything Butt Art app works, we downloaded the free app through the iTunes App Store. The only setup required is to create a profile to benefit from the sharing and saving features.
After setting up the profile, the program displayed the 3 animals that came with the free app. Each animal has three different activities associated with it. There are 2 expansion packs, each with 6 new animals, available as in-app purchases.
For each animal, you can draw it, read it and look at the step by step, and also do a Butt Hunt. We opened up the Draw section and it gave us the option to watch an animation of each step of the drawing, and another option to simply start drawing without watching the video. Little options like this make this app fun and challenging for a wider age range.
In the draw section of Everything Butt Art, the steps are available in thumbnails above the color options on the screen. We turned on the guide lines and traced each step. The user can also choose to hide the lines for more of a challenge. After drawing a gorilla with a butt shape, we used the cute stamps located 2 icons to the right of the pencil icon on the bottom of the screen and decorated the background of the canvas.
After using a couple of colors in the gorilla drawing, Everything Butt Art informed us that we'd unlocked an achievement. We saved our beautiful drawing and shared it via email. After making our mother proud of our artistic skills, we went back to the home screen of the app and looked at the requirements to unlock the different badges and ended up unlocking a few more achievements.
After drawing some pictures, we flipped through the Read section -- which had an ebook version of the paper coloring book. The page flips are animated like iBooks, showing part of the next page as the change occurs.
The last activity is called "Butt Hunt." This activity has some really brightly colored drawings associated with the animal you're drawing. When we were drawing the Gorilla, Butt Hunt prompted us to find all the double curves of the ‘Butt Shape’ in the drawing. Might we say -- it was like "Where's Waldo" with butt shapes.
The Everything Butt Art series is for parents with a sense of humor, but it's not just fun and games. The underlying concept of rethinking a simple shape into different creations is a really important for inspiring creativity in kids. Goofy and fun, Everything Butt Art is perfect for silly kids of all ages and available for free on the iTunes App Store.