Children can benefit from mobile applications that promote problem-solving, productivity, and originality. Furthermore, creating art or coming up with ideas has the potential to unlock slumbering imaginations. These playful apps inspire pre-kindergartners to high school students to write, draw, brainstorm, and explore a community of creatives.

Drawing Desk – Draw, Paint, Doodle, Sketch (iOS & Android, Free)

Drawing Desk’s primary appeal is its universality and robust utility; students of all ages can draw, sketch, and tweak photos with ease. The app’s Kids Desk mode makes sure the youngest creative minds have a space to thrive. They can select from a diverse offering of brush patterns (like hearts or flowers), and choose from coloring book galleries of animals, vehicles, and more. The Sketch Desk, Photo Desk, and Doodle Desk each offer distinct tools and the option to save or share creations. We recommend parents pay $1.99 via in-app purchase to get rid of advertisements.

Mr. Potato Head – Create & Play (iOS, Free)

This timeless children’s toy has gone digital with the recent release Mr. Potato Head – Create & Play.While Hasbro Gaming has abandoned Mr. Potato Head’s “bucket of parts”, this entertaining app promotes spatial awareness and creativity. The free version includes six outfit changes and two background worlds, all of which are accessible through the toy chest. Each world includes five programmed animations and children can save their favorite moments to an in-app gallery. Alas, the app doesn’t allow mixing and matching parts from various outfits, so there will be no pirate ballerinas. Parents can unlock all 26 outfits and 13 interactive worlds for $4.99.

Creative Writing Prompts (iOS, $2.99)

Creative Writing Prompts was developed by Tanner Christensen, who works as a product designer for Facebook. This iOS universal app provides impromptu inspiration for middle and high school students with writer’s block, including over 1,000 lines and prompts. If a student uses Creative Writing Prompts on the regular, he or she will definitely develop a writing routine, which in turn can make them more effective in other school subjects. Free writing is a great way for students to start the day, even if it means composing during breakfast or on the school bus. Creative Writing Prompts was designed for professionals and academics alike, so this app is a superb investment that won’t outlive its usefulness.

Behance (iOS & Android, Free)

Behance provides creatives, no matter the medium, with a network to distribute their latest opuses. This mobile app is a nice addition for high school and college students who are serious about their craft and want unfiltered feedback from the creative community. Students will need to set up an Adobe account first, then they can pick artistic veterans and curated galleries to follow. Behance is organized with an extensive arrangement of creative fields, including Photography, Illustration, Architecture, Motion Graphics, Computer Animation, and Writing, to name a few. Students can observe works in progress, checking in with pieces at various stages.

Inkflow Visual Notebook (iOS Free)

Inkflow Visual Notebook is a necessary tool for visual learners. Great for middle and high school students, who would benefit from QuickStart Guide tutorial, the app is essentially a blank canvas that can be used for brainstorming, organizing ideas, and drafting multi-page projects. Students can add text and images from their device’s Camera Roll, change their stationary background, and more. The full version can be purchased for $7.99, which includes a color palette, brush tools, page management, and unlimited pages, as opposed to the free version’s 20-page max.

(This content was originally posted at appoLearning.)


Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunch, The Chicago Sun Times, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

About Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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"Portrait of an Artist: 5 Great Mobile Apps for Young Creatives" by @ShellyPalmer

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