If doodling wasn’t a blast, then why would adults still be doing it long after they’ve grown out of the crayon stage? Come on, you know you get your Crayola on whenever you sit down at brunch and there’s butcher paper + crayons at the ready ;) Whether it’s on a menu in a restaurant or on that one beautiful wall where you’ve asked them kindly not to, kids like to draw everywhere. From basic scribbling to instructional art, there are plenty of apps to inspire their creativity and keep you sane. The best part of having your kids draw with your device isn’t even keeping markers off the furniture (although that’s a bonus!). Screenshot every masterpiece, and you have instant digital keepsakes.
1. Drawnimal: This precious app pairs with pen and paper to get your kids thinking creatively. Place the device on paper and watch your kids imagine and draw the body around the lovable face on the screen. ($1.99 on iOS)
2. Paper: This beautiful way to sketch on your iPad is such an impressive tool it’s popular with adults, too. Five basic tools — sketch, write, outline, draw and color — provide you with endless creative opportunities. (Free on iOS)
3. Doodlesculpt: Although this is not an app that lets your kids draw, this tool can seriously upgrade all those old paper drawings by turning them into 3-D creations! We’ve gushed about this site before, where you can get a sculpture version of a crayon drawing for $99.
4. Adobe Ideas: Replace pencil and paper with this app, and you’ll never go back. We love it, because kids can enjoy drawing on an enormous virtual canvas with customizable brushes, and adults can enjoy the ability to save and access on Illustrator later. (Free on iOS)
5. Drawing With Carl: The only thing that makes drawing more fun is adding a lovable companion to the process. This app does just that with Carl, a sweet little guy who can even appeal to adults with in-app tools like mirror images, patterns and stickers. ($2.99 on iOS)
6. Drawing Pad: For less than the cost of a box of crayons, you can hand your kid way more drawing tools than they ever knew existed. This app presents a beautiful interface for kids that will make their masterpieces that much better. ($1.99 on iOS and Android)
7. How to Draw: Older kids will be drawn (pun intended) to this app because of the advanced tools. Rather than just scribbling, this app encourages technique and will reveal how to draw basic things like planes, flowers, animals and characters. ($5.99 on iOS, $.99 on Android)
8. Draw and Tell: This app encourages kids to go beyond just drawing by incorporating a storytelling element. After they finish drawing with the unique on-screen tools, they can use moving stickers to tell a story about the drawing and even create a movie. ($1.99 on iOS)
9. Kids Doodle: The average doodle app gets turned up a notch with brushes that draw with effects like glow, rainbow and neon. Your kids will especially love importing family photos to add doodles to. (Free on iOS and Android)
10. Art Set: The advanced and easy-to-use tools within this app are simple enough to entertain kids and sophisticated enough to interest adults. Open the app, and you’ll see a virtual art set right in front of you, including pencils, paints, pastels and more. The app uses pressure sensitivity to pull off stellar detail, from delicate lines to thick strokes. (Free on iOS)
11. Bamboo Paper: For kids who like to keep their sketches and reference them later, it doesn’t get better than this app. File them away and search them easily on an interface that feels and looks a lot like drawing paper. If your budding artist is serious, get them the accompanying stylus. (Free on iOS and Android)
Do your kids like to draw? Do they prefer to doodle on paper or within an app? Let us know in the comments!