We’re not frightened of tech in our house. All three of my kids are avid users of technology and it’s something we, as parents, actively encourage. After all, they’re growing up in a tech world. At the same time, we’re mindful that drawing and colouring the old-fashioned way is crucial for developing those all-important fine motor skills. So big claps to the folk behind ColAR Mix for creating an amazing app that lets kids combine both.
The ColAR MIx app from New Zealand’s Puteko Limited will blow your mind. Basically, kids colour in drawings downloaded from the ColAR Mix website with whatever pencils and crayons you have at home and then the app brings it to life on your smart device in animated 3D using the exact colours and scribbles. Such a simple premise, such an awesome result.
There are five different drawings suitable for kids of differing abilities – an aeroplane, girl, shoe, bear, bird and dragon. The boffins behind ColAR are busy working on new colouring pages too. My eight-year-old did a smashing job on the intricate dragon colouring sheet (below) and was suitably impressed to have his dragon fly around our kitchen table breathing fire while my three-year-old went to work on the plane (pictured top).
My only complaint is that a little patience is required, as sometimes it took quite a few moments for the app to recognise and translate the drawing to 3D. And holding the iPhone or iPad still enough to keep the image in frame is probably beyond your average toddler or preschooler, especially when the excitement of seeing the colouring creation come to life takes hold. But still, this augmented reality colouring app is a lot of fun.
You can download ColAR Mix from iTunes and there is also an Android version. The free version usually only comes with one colouring page, but you can get all pages in the ColAR collection if you download the app before July 28.