Picky Kid Rating: 2.8
Kids Coloring and Math is a paint-by-numbers app with a twist! In addition to coloring based on numbers, you can also paint by solving simple math problems. Some interface and user experience issues make this game hard for preschoolers to play, but it’s worth a look for kids who are fairly experienced with the iPad, and who are interested in learning numbers and math.
Several issues with the app are evident the moment you start it. First, its orientation is vertical — which makes it difficult for small children to comfortably hold in their laps… Second, the home screen (pictured above) is cluttered with too many things. Some look tappable and aren’t (like the “and math” badge under the logo). Other items are tappable that you really don’t want your kids tapping — like the facebook and twitter icons (Legally, you need to be 13 to use facebook!), a “more games” button (that doesn’t seem to work on iOS6) and a “Rate it!” button (which is really attractive to toddlers because it has a big star on it and wiggles periodically!).
The two things you do want to tap are the icons for the different game modes well-placed in the middle of the screen. You can choose “Coloring by numbers” or “Count and paint”.
When you chose either option, you’ll get to choose a picture to color. Tap on one to start. If this is the first picture you’ve chosen since starting the app, an instructional graphic will appear on the screen. It’s not really necessary (there’s a “help” option from the home screen) and it’s an interruption to the game that stumps B every time. Tap anywhere to get rid of the graphic and start playing.
How you play will depend on which game mode you’ve chosen. In Coloring by numbers, you’ll tap a numbered paint bucket at the bottom of the screen, then part of the picture with the matching number. Your paint will fill that area, and — if you matched correctly — it will stay colored. If the numbers don’t match, it will revert to its uncolored state. It should be noted that this app alone doesn’t teach number recognition to young kids… they just need to be able to match the shapes of the numbers. (At first B kept getting 6 and 9 mixed up — they are the same shape, after all!) But if you play with your child, you can prompt them with things like “Do you see another number four to color?” to help them learn the names of the digits.
Things work a bit differently in Count and paint mode. Here, you’ll need to tap on part of the picture first. When you do, a simple math problem (addition or subtraction of numbers up to 10) will appear at the top of the screen. You need to solve the equation and tap the paint bucket labeled with the right answer.
In either game mode, you’ll get stars as you progress. Paint a picture completely and with no mistakes, and you’ll get three stars. I think it might be nicer if you get three stars for completing, and a bonus star for making no mistakes… because the stars seem tied to how much of the picture you’ve completed.
You can tap the circular green arrow in the upper right to reset a picture to start over if you’ve made a mistake (or if you just feel like it). When you do so, you’ll get a warning message, and you’ll have to tap Yes or No. This is frustrating at first for kids who can’t read, though they soon learn to tap the green check-mark for Yes. A similar warning pops up when you click the orange arrow in the top left of the screen to go back to the picture selection screen. This warning feels rather unnecessary, and interrupts the game.
There are 24 different pictures to choose from and the same pictures are available in each mode. You can purchase an additional 12 pictures for $0.99 via in-app purchase. This is where your child’s tendency to tap the green check-mark in response to any warning message will hurt you! Because this time the green check-mark means Buy.
The design of the game and the pictures isn’t bad. There’s a pretty wide variety of subject matter in the pictures, and nothing too offensive (well, there is a desert scene with someone wielding a sword, but it’s not violent). We like the way the brush at the top of the screen changes colors when you select paints in Coloring by numbers mode. Sometimes the action feels too slow — you must wait for a section to completely paint in before you can tap anything else — but we can see why this may be necessary.
This game has no sound — it’s completely silent! This may be a welcome reprieve for some of our readers. And sound really isn’t necessary. The written prompts are available in English (with a few misspellings) or Russian via the language selector on the home screen.
Overall, Kids Coloring and Math is not well-suited for toddlers. It’s a little too difficult to use and depends too much on reading. However, older children who are more experienced with the iPad, and who are learning addition and subtraction might find this one interesting.
[The developer of this app requested a Picky Kid app review. No fee was paid. As mentioned above, there is no sound in the app. No sound is better than bad sound, so we gave this app a 3 for sound.]Review: Kids Coloring and Math iPad App,
Kids Coloring and Math
Played on: iPad2, iOS6
- Intergraphics Games
Price: $1.99, more pictures available for $0.99 (in-app purchase)