Bottom Line: Create-a scene app with a funky, one of a kind steam train interface and a proprietary system to share creations make this a winner for ages 4+.
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Sendy: Kids Steam-Paint Art from Mrs. Judd's Games LLC is a delightful and engaging app fostering expression of children's ideas through writing, art, color and more with a special bonus – children's spontaneous creations can be safely sent to friends and family. Kiddos love to show off their art-work and send little terms of endearment or cute messages to family. Sendy provides a creative, innovative tool accompanied by a safe/secure structure where children can easily send a cool "animated email" within the safety blanket of the "Juddly" login system.
A very inviting initial screen with authentic sounding train sounds offers a great starting point for children. For backgrounds, they have the choice of a camera (always a cool deal) and either taking their own picture or using a photo on the camera roll on their iPad. From telling about a special moment on the playground or in art class to showcasing their most recent trip to Disney World, the camera option gives a starting point for the little author to begin telling his story. This is "look at me doing this" in graphic design for some or the refrigerator picture of iPad technology for others.
The app has a very hip steam punk look. An animated antique train invites youngsters to come on board ready to take off and create. A scrolling paint trolley whistles across the bottom screen with many fun colors to use for the background or writing. A tool bar in the form of train engine parts gives the option of choosing skinny, medium or chunky lines to write, color or draw all over the picture. An eraser is at hand if needed.
Steam clouds from the train based tool bar roll out lots of fun stamps, and antique looking rebus (picture representation of a symbol) type stamps combine to deliver messages like "I-Heart-U" to decipher. This contributes to some out of the box type reading encounters for young and old! It is almost like deciphering a code or working a puzzle. The decorative stamps from the steam block can help embellish and illustrate photos. This feature helps pre-readers to tell their story.
Various forms of manipulation of the screen allow children to use a five finger approach to place rainbows and two finger type manipulations to resize objects/text to big, little or upside down! Stamps or messages may be moved, resized or used as many times as wanted to illustrate just the right story. The paint trolley delivers as many changes of color as an artist may need to perfect his or her original masterpiece!
In addition to the creative potential in this app, it also allows plain and simple PRACTICE of educational principles including letters, numbers, sizing of letters, cursive, phonics, counting and composition. Sound educational principles with a funky twist of artistic expression are used with the added benefit of communication. As a parent and Occupational Therapist for pediatrics, I love that the creator has built all of these principles into a fun loving app that is family centered and education friendly.
Integral to this app and others by Mrs. Judd, a veteran Kindergarten teacher, is the safety of the "Juddly" system. This feature, the brainchild of the developer, offers parents the opportunity to set up an account so children have a secure login system which allows them to to share their creations. Parents can receive the message safely and with security at their email or through Juddly.com. A very helpful list of instructions guides the first time user or instructor in set-up.
If I could make any changes to this well designed app, I would encourage learners use it with an iPad placed on an easel with a new chunky tripod stylus for young children and a stylus for older students. This brings the concept and skill of tool use into an already educationally sound app. I would recommend use of this app for visual motor (eye hand coordination) and fine motor (small finger control).
From start point to destination this creator combined solid educational practice goals with the fun of children's love of art and expression. It is full of gizmos and widgets bringing the animation/sound graphics of old train whistles, steam cloud engines, and a moving trolley into a medium where our future artists can create a crazy cool message in the form of unique art for their parents to treasure. FUN is how I would spell this app.
Kathy Fleming Drehobl, OTR/L loves mixed media art in her spare time. Creating is energizing and fun. Of course we want a way to share and express itâ¦..I do manage to sneak in therapy at the same time!
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