artsy kids apps

Adults of a certain age probably remember felt boards. I know I do. Felt boards were always the province of the teacher, who them to tell stories to a group of seated children. I always wanted to get my hands on those felt shapes and now, decades later, I can. Only after using Felt Board for iPad, I prefer this modern version.

Felt Board for iPad is exactly what you think it is: a digital play space with countless backgrounds, colorful figures, clothing, animals, spacesuits, and magic wands. Felt Board brings back “no batteries” style play, making the iPad a device for creating an endless number of different tableaux.

Felt Board for iPad has few instructions, no soundtrack music, and limited sound effects. It is interactivity extends only to assembling shapes, then applying digital glue to whatever you have created. A user can snap a picture of her creation but otherwise there are no hotspots or hidden surprises built in to the app, which means that the user gets to supply all the fun. Kids will love it.

Plus teachers and parents can still use Felt Board for iPad as it they would have once used a “real” felt board without worrying that the felt characters will get torn, chewed on, or worse. The app includes the pieces to create scenes to go along with popular pre-school songs and rhymes such as the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old MacDonald, and 5 Little Monkeys. Adults will appreciate that using Felt Board for iPad is a no-mess, no clean-up experience. And unlike when I was in nursery school, it’s OK to give the kids a turn.

Download Felt Board for iPad from the App Store for $2.99. The app is compatible with any iteration of the iPad running iOS 4.3 or later.

What I liked: Felt board is deceptively simple. The developer put a tremendous amount of thought into styling the image choices. There is a nice balance between prompting story lines with themed accessories and allowing kids to be zany and come up with delightfully improbable scenes.

What I didn’t like: While it’s great that users can take a picture, I think it would have been even better if users could save their images in an in-app gallery within the app.

To buy or not to buy: Since it’s limited only by the power of a child’s imagination (which is, of course, boundless) Felt Board for iPad is one of the few iPad apps that kids are likely to return to again and again.

  • App Name: Felt Board for iPad
  • Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
  • Category: Education
  • Developer: Software Smoothie
  • Price: $2.99
  • Score: