Ruth Spivak: Kiducation


Skatoony: Skadoodle App Turns Kids Into Artists

Do your kids have the drawing skills to earn big bucks?

When you see kids tapping on iPads, do you presume they are turning their minds to mush? If so, you could be wrong. More kids and educators are using educational apps as a means of putting a new twist on learning. Educational apps often focus on practicing a specific skill set, whether in mathematics, language, or art. When practice includes unlocking levels and cool graphics, most kids don't even realize there is a learning component. Skatoony: Skadoodle, produced by content creation company marblemedia, is a great example of an app where learning and fun are at your fingertips.

Get ready to draw a picture in only three steps using three shapes. Impossible? Not if you follow instructions carefully: Draw a fat horizontal rectangle. Draw a semi-circle with its flat side up in the centre of that rectangle. Draw an oval inside the semi-circle.

Now, quick: What image did you make from those shapes?  

Skatoony: Skadoodle is not about basic shapes for toddlers. We're talking trapezoids, verticals, horizontals, semicircles on the right, and spirals inside circles. Press the buzzer, and you have about 20 seconds to guess what image you've drawn. Hurry!

Guess correctly and you earn Skatoony Bucks. Save the bucks, and collect even more colour pallets and notepads. 

Skadoodle Has A Whole Lot of Teaching Going On. Kids Learn:

 How to draw and identify shapes

 Sense of direction

 How to follow step-by-step instructions

 Visual-spatial reasoning

 Money management

 Drawing skills

Kids can opt for the Free Draw option, allowing them to draw and save their own masterpieces. My daughter had fun concocting this masterpiece, inspired by a great book:

She's saving her Skatoony Bucks to buy more colours for her drawings. Time to crack the next level! 

Here's my daughter hard at work, carefully following instructions with shapes and lines. She's pretty sure it's an igloo, but she'll have to press the buzzer to find out if she's right.

My kids and I were engrossed in the drawing challenges. Aside from the Skatoony Bucks, there's a rewarding feeling that comes from producing a drawing in three steps. It's a feeling of accomplishment. We were so motivated to carefully draw whatever shapes, lines, and shading were outlined in the instructions.

I noticed that not only did my kids learn some geometry, they practiced careful reading—such an important and useful skill for tests and assignments.

Unlocking levels, earning Skatoony Bucks, and multiple-choice questions keep kids on their toes. Colours, ink-widths, notepads, and an eraser allow kids to get creative.

Skadoodle is guilt-free iPad fun. It's artistic, mathematical, and keeps kids busy. A rare combination! I would highly recommend for ages 8+.

Available on iTunes for $0.99.

Produced by marblemedia, Skatoony is an animated/live-action comedy series that pits tweens and cartoons against each other in competition through frantic, trivia-based rounds -- but only one will be named Skatoony Quiz Champ. Set in a fantastical television studio in the fictional town of Showtown, the series is anchored by the hilarious cartoon duo of host Chudd Chudders and his lounge-singing sidekick, The Earl.

Each week, they attempt to put together another show, while all manner of mad happenings occur around them... but the show must go on!

Skatoony airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on English TELETOON and Sunday at noon on French TÉLÉTOON.