My first try at parenting was in 2003. My then boyfriend’s twin nephews were staying with us and at aged 3, they had a keen interest in drawing farmyard animals. As we sat down and they shouted out animals, it was my job to draw them….only to remember that I CANNOT DRAW. They asked me to draw a pig and were earth-shatteringly disappointed by what I put in front of them. Deep down, I knew one day I’d have kids of my own and they’d discover this too! I’ve always been quite in awe of people who can draw so easily. So when the lovely people at BIC contacted me about their new Drawy Book App, I was intrigued, maybe there’s technology now to help a non-drawer mum like me?
Thankfully, Emma’s not quite there yet so there is still time for me to master a few cartoon shapes in hope to impress her. The package arrived and the products were in a lovely drawstring bag, useful to keep them all in one place. Inside, was a colouring book and 2 sets of felt tip pens (one set was ‘magic’ felt tip pens that can erase ink which got me very excited) and a set of crayons. There was also an A4 frame wrapped in tissue paper – Emma honed in on the tissue paper right away while I had a look…
So we drafted in Emma’s brother, James who has a real artistic flare to help us out. Together, we explored the BIC Kids DrawyBook and downloaded the app onto my iPhone. The app has a pre-loaded story, called ‘Marty and the Alien’, following Marty who is keen on astronomy and decides to camp out in his garden, only to encounter the unexpected. The app is used in conjuction with the colouring book, and the idea is that you colour in as the story unfolds. James was gripped and loved getting stuck in right away! After the colouring is done, you can scan in your picture and it appears on the app as part of the story – something I have never seen before.
I’m always fascinated that kids these days know instinctively how to use technology – Emma at 4 months old began to be obsessed with my phone and laptop. Now, at 1 years old, as soon as she crawls in the room, I can see her doing a quick scan to locate the phones and laptop (and also the remote!) and recently she can even swipe on my phone, yikes! This app is clever to amalgamate technology with art, and the interaction keeps the kids interested along the way.
What I love is that the app is free and the colouring book is only £9.99 (available from Amazon) and has 23 pages of colouring to keep the kids entertained for quite a while. A huge thank you to the folks at BIC for letting us try this out and for the 2 packets of Haribo that kept Miss Emma entertained too. I even think there might be potential here to conceal my artistic ineptitude!