Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Painting With Time

Painting With Time

Spring 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 5 - 18 yrs.
Contributions From: Charlie Brown
Director: Bob Hone
Director: Patrick McEvoy
Producer: Brent Tam
Platform: iPad
Review:

This innovative app vissually conveys the transition between seasons, times of days, and natural occurrences. It's a beautiful way to see the short or long term changes of a given scene.

My four year old, though out of the recommended age range, enjoyed it quite a bit, though I had to play with him and really help him with the interface. My 7 year old was intrigued by approximately 4 different scenes, then lost interest. I think having a graphical gallery of different scenes, instead of just text, would have helped, and simplifying or removing some of the options (such as the different puzzle grids, that was very distracting for him... just a vertical 4 or horizontal 4 would have been ideal.) would have increased his engagement.

Painting with Time may be most valuable if paired with classroom instruction, with a leader or teacher sharing and talking through it, asking prompting questions. If I were a teacher, I would enjoy this easily accessibly way to show change over time, and to prompt students to hypothesize about time-based changes. Not all apps have to be ideal for kids to play on their own. Perhaps adding a "just for teachers" prompt would help teachers understand ways to use this, and help parents prompt their own children as well.

Particularly as it is a free app, I would recommend this to parents and teachers.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys, ages 4 and 7.

Look for this product at:
Red Hill Studios
http://www.redhillstudios.com
Available on iTunes

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