Artie’s off on an adventure with his magic pencil. Just like in the classic story Harold and the Purple Crayon, when Artie gets in trouble or needs to help others, he calls upon the powers of his magic pencil and draws a solution. From trees and houses, to dogs to live in a dog house, Artie draws the world around him. He does so while following after a destructive dinosaur, which adds a bit of mystery to the app and presents an fun story for kids to follow.
Puzzle pieces to collect
Individual letter sounds
Most of the instructions found in the app are non-verbal. Light bulbs pop up next to Artie’s head or the heads of other characters in the story when there’s a drawing activity for kids to complete. Kids will find it fairly easy to move within the app and to help Artie travel throughout his world. When it comes time to draw the shapes, they may experience a bit of frustration, because the app requires them to draw lines that hit certain points on a shape. It’s okay if their lines aren’t straight, the app will straighten them, but kids must make sure their lines are long enough.
Artie’s Magic Pencil offers two educational components. First, it teaches kids how to draw basic shapes and introduces them to the type of basic shapes that make up common objects. This is done by having kids create objects in Artie’s world. For example, one of the first tasks kids create is a butterfly, which is done by making two connected triangles. Kids also make other items, such as trees, buildings, and dogs. For each item kids make, the app has kids trace the item, shape by shape, and then shows them the final project.
In addition to presenting an art lesson, the app includes a story for kids to follow. A dinosaur stomps around Artie’s world and destroys things in his path. As Artie repairs different items in his world, with the help of his magic pencil, the app reminds kids that the dinosaur is still on the loose, drawing their attention back to the story.
There are a few elements of this app designed to entertain kids. First, kids are encouraged to keep playing through to the end of the app with the appearance of the destructive dinosaur. They’re constantly reminded that the dinosaur is somewhere ahead of Artie and encouraged to follow him. As kids help Artie complete activities, they’re also rewarded with pieces of a heart. The app only focuses on three basic shapes, so kids might get a bit bored at times, but the promise of filling the heart and getting to the dinosaur at the end is likely enough to keep them going or keep them returning to the app, although they might not play it again once they’ve reached the end.
In the app, kids will find access to 15 drawing activities and the embedded adventure story. For kids who need help with fine motor skills or who need to learn how to draw basic shapes, this app offers a different way to do it.
A protected parent area provides parents with information on how to play the game and the developer itself, as well as links to social media and the developer’s website. On the main page, kids will see rate us and more apps icons, but access to these sections is protected by a parental lock.