Kids Get Artsy
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play is an art app that encourages kids to make pictures using collage papers. The unique twist of this app is that the 40 textured papers come from author Eric Carle's illustrations. So kids will be able to use the papers found in the award-winning children's books "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?," "The Very Quiet Cricket," and more. In addition to the illustrative collage papers used in Eric Carle's books, the app also provides kids with character templates so that they can create caterpillars, crickets, butterflies, chameleons, and other charming animals from the Eric Carle library of books.
How to Use This App
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play opens to white canvas with art tools displayed on the top of the screen. Taking up most of the top of the screen are the 40 collage papers, displayed as a scrollable stack. Tapping on one makes the screen fill up with the paper. If you use your finger to draw on top of the paper, it magically cuts out your drawing whenever you connect the lines to create an enclosed shape. After you create a cutout, the excess paper disappears and you can move your creation around, rotate it, or combine it with other cutouts.
Tapping on the grid icon opens the templates section. Kids will find their favorite Eric Carle literary characters to color in using collage papers, paint, or colored pencils. There is also an option of a blank screen for those who want to create their own artwork.
When young artists are finished, they can tap the Gallery icon, and their artwork appears framed and is saved to a personal Gallery for later viewing. An animated version of Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar appears in the Gallery, appreciating all of the artwork on display.
A Fun Way to Encourage Creativity
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play is worth downloading because it exposes children to the beauty of collage art and makes it easy for them to create their own great-looking paper cut-out art. Eric Carle is a master at creating illustrations using collage papers, and with this app your children can use lovely textured papers based on Carle's work to recreate his famous characters. Cleverly, the app lets kids get comfortable with the collage process by offering templates where they cut out and then combine a variety of paper shapes to make familiar Eric Carle characters and props. Don't miss creating your own Very Hungry Caterpillar using these vibrant papers! After learning the collage process, young artists can then use these tools to create their own unique work.
Most of the tools presented in this app are intuitive, making it an app that preschoolers can use. Kids immediately realize that they can use their finger as their scissors. Using icons, the app gently reminds users that they must close their cutout before for it can appear on their canvas. Once created, kids simply touch the cutout to move it around.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play has several tools that aren't readily apparent. When you cut out a shape that you don't want, there is no trashcan visible on the screen. Only by experimenting will young artists realize that if they move a cutout to the bottom of the screen, a funny trashcan appears to eat their discarded creation. Likewise, when trying to stack cutouts on top of each other, it isn't always obvious how to make this happen. It can take a lot of fiddling to send a specific cutout to the back and to move others to appear on top. You can also lock a group of cutouts together by double tapping, but again, this isn't spelled out or demonstrated.
While this app earned our Best Pick Award because it makes collage art accessible to young children, it would have earned a higher star rating if it had shown kids the finer points of using its art tools.
Creativity tools such as those found in The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play make it easy for children to create art from their imaginations. I love that this app has gone beyond the simple painting programs frequently presented in kids' art apps to expand children's art vocabulary to include collage materials. This app is fun for all children to explore, regardless of whether or not they are fans of Eric Carle's books.
This app supports the Apple Pencil, making it a great choice for families that own the iPad Pro. For Android users, a limited version called Caterpillar - Creative Play is free on Google Play, but to unlock the whole experience, you need to pay $2.99 via an in-app purchase.
This kids' app review of The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Creative Play was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.