Tween Tech – Toontastic, by Anne Hicks
This fall I’ve been offering a once-a-month program for tweens that incorporates apps and iPads. We’ve had an augmented reality themed program, a digital light painting session, and this month we focused on the app Toontastic.
Toontastic is a wonderful storytelling app that allows children to create their own cartoons. The kids choose from a wide variety of different settings and characters. They then move the characters around the screen while narrating their stories.
There is a free version of the app available, but I would highly recommend splurging on the $19.99 full access pass. It’s expensive, but it’s a high-quality app and the large number of scenes and characters it unlocks really lets kids get creative. Check out this video to see the app in action:
I had four iPads and eight children in the program. The kids paired off and got to work. It was awesome to see them collaborate to create their stories, and I was really impressed with how easily they shared. I noticed kids both working together on each scene or taking turns with one child narrating one scene and the other child narrating the next.
I love that Toontastic really teaches the kids about the storytelling process. It guides them through creating the setting, to incorporating a conflict or challenge, and then finally introducing a resolution. They can even choose the background music for each scene based on the mood they want to create!
The program lasted 45 minutes but when I do it again I plan to extend that to an hour. At the end of the program the kids were so excited to show their parents the cartoons they created. Here are a few pictures of the kids working on their cartoons: