I have to be honest, I’m not good with drawing. On the other hand, as you probably have noticed, Camila is a much more talented doodler. All of the doodles on this site are her excellent works.
Nevertheless, I’d love to have both my sons to learn how to doodle as early as possible, especially Philip, who is approaching his fourth birthday. He has been able to hold a pencil correctly and write numbers, letters, and even a few words. Yet, I didn’t know how to introduce doodling to him such that he’d love the activities and grow to become a talented doodler - until the great developers at CJ Educations shared with us their latest app, D is for Doodle.
D is for Doodle
The app focuses on two things: doodling and coloring. As you might have guessed from the app name, the doodling must be somehow related to letters of the alphabet. The app has a total of 52 pages, representing upper case and lower case letters of the alphabet.
In each page, you will start by writing an uppercase or a lowercase letter, and build your way from there to draw an object that is represented by that letter. For example, the small d represents a dog, whereas the big E represents an elephant. The objects are quite varied, and are not limited to animals.
Starting from the first letter you write, the app makes drawing easy for kids. Step by step instructions are given to make it easy for you to follow. Each time you complete an instruction, the app will show you the next instruction, until you finally complete the last instruction and see the final form of the object. Here’s an example of an instruction to draw an octopus:
- Draw two O’s
- Attach a big O
- Add eight wiggly snakes
- And little O's
Once you have completed your doodle, you can see it animated as a part of the reward. You can then continue with the next doodle sequentially from A to z. or tap on the ABC menu on the top left corner to jump to any letter. You can even jump to any page in the coloring activities.
On each of the coloring page, you will find the object in black and white frame, wrapped in colorful background. You have access to six color crayons that you can use to make the doodle colorful. Once you’re finished, you can also save your work to the Camera Roll.
Parents Need to Know
The app is developed based on a step-by-step drawing book of the same title, by Deborah Zemke. All of the objects and instructions for each of them are derived from the book. You will get the benefit of focusing on each one of them as you doodle them. Sometimes, the app even helps you to resize the parts that you’re doodling such that it becomes a small part of the bigger object you're drawing.
On the other hand, the book version offers a good way to see an overview of the entire process. The app helps alleviate this by allowing you to repeat any step by tapping on the step number in the progress bar. Because no objects need more than 10 steps to draw, this approach works great on the iPad.
Because younger juniors may still struggle with their fine motor skills, the app has a great tolerance for errors. With simple touches surrounding the instructed areas, the app can already recognise it as a valid input and replace your touches with the built-in illustration. This allows the app to be usable by juniors as young as three years old.
Things I Like
One of the things that juniors like is magical stuff. Being able to turn simple letters, shapes, lines, curves and even squiggles into great doodles can really awe many juniors. They will also learn about adjectives and counting as they follow the instructions.
I personally like how the app manages to teach Philip how to doodle animals by associating them with particular letters. Until today, he’s been able to write the letters forming the animal names and name them, but not how to draw them. I think this is a nice step-up for him.
Another thing that I like is how the doodle is divided into 4-10 small instructions. Following step-by-step instructions can teach Philip about better planning and ordered thinking. And, because the activity also asks you to draw something from a blank paper, it helps him to learn how he can create great things from simpler things.
D is for Doodle is not just a great doodling and colouring app organised by letters of the alphabet. With its step by step instructions, the app makes it easy for kids to learn drawing. It’s also a great way to introduce both ordered thinking and creativity to your juniors. I think this may become one of the most influential apps in my sons’ learning journeys.
D is for Doodle is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.