Every once in a great while, the app store provides you with a treasure that does more than just take your money and leave you feeling vaguely dissatisfied.
I’ve bought apps that my kids sit and look at for at least 20 minutes, and other apps that a few of my kids played with for longer than a half hour and go back to time and again. And I’ve spent money on apps that I wished had a return button on them (it is unfortunate that iTunes won’t let me send that Sesame Street app back. I’m talking to you, Elmo).
So it is with complete shock that I recently purchased Toontastic by Launchpad Toys, and experienced the euphoria of something that you can’t buy on the app store (or anywhere else for that matter):
Peace and Quiet
And the real shocker? It’s only .99 cents.
Toontastic by Launchpad Toys is an iPad app that lets your kids create cartoons. The basic storyline is laid out of for them, starting with the setup to your cartoon and continuing through to the ultimate conflict and resolution. Your child can create each scene with backgrounds ranging from space to a fairytale castle, then place characters within the scene and make them move around. During the scene, your kid can dub their voice to explain what is going on and let the characters talk. You can even draw your own characters and import them into the scene.
Once the cartoon is finished, you can send your videos to ToonTube to share with others and earn badges.
For the wonderful price of .99 cents, my kids played with Toontastic for 3 hours off and on, taking turns and creating videos. We even sat around the kitchen table making videos together. Although there were a few gems that I might not share, including “Search for the Space Toilet Paper” by my 8 year old, the overwhelming majority were well thought out.
Not only is this app entertaining, but it is also educational. As a writer, I love apps that teach how to create a story arc. Its a skill that they will need as they progress through school, and being able to tell a story really encourages them to use their imagination.
Toontastic has a 5 star rating in the app store, and is one of the featured apps for this week. Unfortunately, it isn’t available for the iPhone.
If you have an iPad, get ready for one of the best gifts a mom can get: Silence.
Toontastic by Launchpad Toys is available in the iTunes store or follow them on Twitter