Children’s Apps With Hand-Drawn Illustrations Always Catch My Attention

This year’s Dust or Magic conference on children’s interactive media did not disappoint. Fascinating speakers aside, one of my favorite experiences was sitting with developers to preview their creations. Lingering on my mind are three apps which share a common theme: they all include elements of hand-drawn illustrations. Compared to traditional graphic art, this softer form of craftsmanship always catches my attention. I’d be curious if you think similarly after scrolling through…

Yuri and the Flying Squid




Nicky’s Make Believe Castle



I think these illustrations show successful incorporation of human elements (like drawing, painting and doodling) into digital media. This human touch builds my engagement with the app because I want to look at all of the art on each page, activity or scene.

The stories behind each app are fascinating. Yuri and the Flying Squid was produced by a mother-son team. The son produced the app by digitally remastering graphics from his mother’s illustrations which were scanned over the Atlantic from Spain to New York. Attributes was programmed and graphically designed by a dedicated father and math advocate. Every element in the app is his original artwork. Make Believe Castle was brought to the iPad from an award-winning 1990’s computer based game. The founder’s grandchild inspired this latest rendition.

Thank you to the creators of these beautiful works for children. It may take quite a bit of effort, but families sure do appreciate it!

NOTE: It is very difficult to discuss hand-drawn apps without mentioning the amazing Roxie Monroe. If you haven’t heard of Roxie, please visit her website. In addition, the My Play Home series of apps have always been a favorite of mine, particularly because of the illustrations.

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

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