Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review - Wreck this App by Keri Smith

I don't have an iPhone (yet!) or indeed a smart phone, but late last year we decided to invest in an iPad. Yes, an 'investment' it has been! I love it. But I'm still very new to the whole 'app' thing and it's been a bit of trial and error deciding which ones to download. Kim loves Angry Birds (I don't get it, but millions of people can't be wrong!) and because I love Keri Smith (again, millions of people can't be wrong) I thought I'd download 'Wreck this App' based on the bestselling Wreck this Journal. This has definitely been a fun purchase.

My almost-three-year-old Miss P knows how to use the iPad better than I can. I'm a big fan of introducing kids to computers. This will be their world after all. Of course, I offset this with other entertainment activities like TV and video games. Haha, kidding! But really, in the balance of a day which includes mucking around outside, imaginative play with toys, dress-ups, painting and drawing, helping with cooking and playing with friends, a stint on the iPad is just fine as far as I'm concerned. And watching her use it is like an experiment in intuitive learning.

I only had to show her once how to swipe to 'turn pages', press the button on the side to go back to the main screen and now she can go in and out of different applications like nobody's business. Amazing. Sometimes she gets into something which takes me ten minutes to figure out how to get out of (I'm sort of in the middle of the digital 'native' and 'immigrant' generations - I still remember the fanfare when we got our one and only classroom computer in Grade 4 and the teacher let us take turns playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Which makes me sound old. But I'm not that old! Really!)

Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith is about breaking the rules, being creative and doing things which make you feel uncomfortable (one page instructs you to take the book into the shower. I draw the line here!). The app is the same, but without some of the more out-there challenges. See the images below. I think I know why that page on the right couldn't appear in the app! Same with the shower thing.

But the app has lots of fun directions like the one to 'wreck' the instruction page! Fun!

You use a basic set of 'art tools' which allow you to change colours and brushes and lots of other cool things. Pretty easy for kids to use.

One of the fun things is the 'camera' feature. This allows you to take photos of things ahead of you, or you can 'switch' the lens around and take a photo of yourself. We've had fun pulling funny faces and incorporating the picture into our page, which we can then go ahead and draw all over!

It's not a complicated app and pretty easy to get the hang of. Miss P likes it but it's more fun for her if we do this one together. Older kids of reading age would be able to work their way through it themselves.

I would definitely recommend this as an app for kids though (it's more of a school-age app than a toddler one). The book can apply to all ages, including adults who feel the need to loosen-up creatively speaking and think outside the square a little more (Keri Smith dedicates the book to 'perfectionists all over the world' haha!). But the simplicity of the app means that adults might get a bit restless with the prompts and tools available. If you're interested in drawing there are some very sophisticated apps out there (I might review a couple soon - if I can actually manage to teach myself how to use them properly!). For kids though, this app is awesome. Really fun.

Wreck this App is available through iTunes.