I have been fortunate to share some really excellent toys with my children and grandchildren, as part of my work as a blogger. I love when those opportunities are from companies I have known and loved since my own childhood. Crayola is an icon in creative and imaginative play. Most impressive is their ability to adapt and change to the needs and interests of the more and more tech-savvy youth of our culture. In December, our ten-year-old, the grandkids and I had a blast reviewing 4 exceptional products from Crayola that fit that forward-thinking ideal — Color Studio HD for iPad and the iMarker to use with it and three fun Story Studio online coloring book makers — Disney Princess Fairytales, Cars 2 Adventure Maker and the Spiderman Comic Maker.
The first thing that was pulled out of the package was the Story Studio HD with iMarker. Loading the software onto my iPad only took 2 or 3 minutes and then we were up and running. This would be such a fun activity for car trips! The girls really enjoyed the wide variety of choices to “color” and I loved the “coloring” with no mess part. 🙂 The pictures are ANIMATED! The feature can be turned off and on, but it’s really fun to see a picture that you’ve colored start moving on the screen. It’s also very cool that the pictures can be printed to color offline, if your children choose.
The Crayola ColorStudio HD app and iMarker let kids’ imaginations run wild as they color moving, animated scenes that come alive with music, sound effects and hidden surprises. The app is free on iTunes App Store with the purchase of the iMarker for $29.99 at Toys R Us, Best Buy, the Apple Store and www.griffintechnology.com.
- Kids can select from 64 colors in the digital Crayola 64 Box and then use the iMarker to create the look of Crayola crayons, markers, paints and colored pencils as the stylus interacts with an iPad. The digital coloring pages respond with movement and sound as the pages come alive as kids color.
- Animated images stop moving on the screen so kids can easily color them in without going outside of the lines, so objects look picture perfect when they start moving again. Tidy up your page with an eraser function or an “undo” arrow that removes larger areas of color.
- In addition, kids can save their work in a gallery to be emailed, printed or uploaded to Facebook (mom’s account, and with her permission and help of course!), and also free draw, play interactive games and create their own customized coloring pages they can print and color off-line.
The Crayola Story Studios, that we reviewed, utilize online technology through the computer. When you purchase a Story Studio product, for only $9.99, you really get a great value for the price. The package includes glossy paper, plain paper, colored pencils or markers and glitter pens (depending on which character variety you select), book binding strips and a secret code that you use to register your product at Crayola Story Studios. Once the product is registered, you have unlimited use to create fun coloring books starring the SpiderMan, Cars 2 or Disney Princess Characters from your product AND your child! What kid wouldn’t love to be part of a coloring book story with their favorite movie characters?
Part of the fun is creating your child’s character. You can upload a picture that the program will then use to create your character or you can start from scratch, picking face shape, hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, clothing and colors for everything. Do the characters really look like the pictures you upload? in reality? no. In your child’s imagination? absolutely! The kids loved these and didn’t expect or care that their “cartoonized” characters weren’t their actual twins. Once the character was created, it WAS them and they loved being part of the story.
Once your character is created, you can insert them into various pre-programmed coloring book stories, which are familiar scenes from the movies, and then print the coloring books on your home printer. You print the covers in full color on the glossy paper and the coloring pages on the plain paper. Then bind your coloring book with the included binding strips and get ready for hours of enjoyment. It was a simple process and the results were so happily received.
A Busy-at-Home reader is going to win this fun collection of Crayola products for the creative little people in their life! Enter, before midnight, Monday, January 9, using the form below. For the mandatory entry, leave a comment, on this blog post, telling me which characters your imaginative artists will want to try first, if you win- Cars 2, Disney Princesses or SpiderMan or will they be more excited about the iMarker and HD Color Studio for the iPad? That’s it! Once you leave a comment, click the DO IT button,and then ENTER button, in the form below to reveal additional optional entries.
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I received three Crayola Story Studio products and an iMarker, through MyBlogSpark, in order to conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.