Product: Crayola ColorStudio

With Gareth at 19 months, I decided it was time to introduce him to some new activities… Since he has demonstrated a somewhat reduced inclination to put everything in his mouth, I figured it would be safe to let him play with play dough while I taught Gavin how to make Angry Birds. Well, I thought wrong. As soon as my back was turned, he was busy experimenting with his bit of play dough – tasting it, smearing it into the floor, squishing it with his hands, and goodness knows what else he would have done with it if I hadn’t pried it out of his tightly clenched fists.

Then I had another stroke of brilliance (or should I say loss in mental faculties?) when I thought a closely supervised painting session wouldn’t go astray. Ordinarily, paint should go on the paper, but my little artist decided it would be more fun to paint himself instead. And with painted hands, he was busy spreading his mark all over the bathroom before I managed to chase him into the shower so I could wash off the evidence. Luckily I had the sense to let him paint in the nude so we didn’t have to worry about paint stains on his clothes. As I didn’t have finger paints, I used water colours instead and boy are they a b***h to wash off!

As if that experience didn’t teach me anything, I decided to have a third painting session with proper finger paints (Crayola, no less). This time, I confined the painting to the shower. The war paints came on again and it was a briefly entertaining experience for Gareth to smear more paint on himself and the shower cubicle.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t half as fun for Gavin who grew weary of the exercise far too quickly. He did enjoy hosing down his brother and the shower walls, though, and it saved me the trouble of cleaning up.

After those experiences, I could not help but look rather longingly at the new Crayola ColorStudio HD for the iPad. Yes, the intention was to find more activities to occupy Gareth that didn’t involve a screen, but it’s hard to resist the no mess, no fuss allure of this:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKqzeTEoEHs

Here’s the description:

The iMarker™ digital stylus is the key. Like a marker, crayon, pen and paintbrush in one, iMarker creates favorite Crayola colors within the ColorStudio HD app. iMarker looks like a Crayola marker, but is safe to use with the Multi-Touch display of your iPad. The ColorStudio HD app automatically differentiates between iMarker and your child’s finger taps and swipes, allowing intuitive, creative play without having to toggle between modes. Your child enjoys the accuracy and ease of a stylus without giving up direct manipulation of the creative space.

Pictures, animations, sound effects, music — ColorStudio HD always has something new to discover and color. And new pictures are available through ongoing updates automatically when you sync your iPad.

Parents can share the work their children have created by printing it (requires iOS 4.2 or later) or through email and Facebook.

Put it all together and you get the most amazing coloring book ever, with all your favorite Crayola crayons, paints, pencils, markers and more in a convenient no-ink, no-mess, kid-safe package.

Here is a more in-depth display of the features:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTsTjsD2Kcs

The app is free to download and the only thing you need to purchase is the stylus which costs US$29.99 from Griffin (currently out of stock). It isn’t terribly expensive considering that it cost me about RM50 for a decent art block and Crayola paints. Should we get it? I don’t know. Not too convinced with the complaints I read in the reviews about the stylus not being very responsive. Maybe we should wait a bit while they sort out the teething issues…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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