The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

Finding Safe Apps: A Great Drawing and Writing Educational App for Young Kids!


One of my friends this week got a new iPhone. She was excited that she finally had room for Target’s Cartwheel app. But, her next comment to me was that her kids want her to install some apps for them. This started a whole conversation about kids and apps—and in-app purchases.

Over the past few years, I have resisted installing game apps on my phone and tablet because I’ve been scared of accidental in-app purchases being made. I’ve tried to find apps that I am comfortable with my kids using that I didn’t have to worry about.

Recently, I had the chance to review Evan-Moor’s Draw Then Write app, which incorporates writing and drawing. This educational game is ideal for younger children in grades K–3.

This educational app is available via Evan-Moor’s website for PC or Mac, or at the iTunes app store for iPads. It allows 5- to 9-year-olds to trace different animals and complete fill-in-the-word simple sentences about the pictures. The app fits these ages best, but all three of my kids (the oldest of whom is 13 years old!) loved it. My 13-year-old is a little unusual because her primary subject interest is art. She was able to create several projects for her siblings to trace in the program and share these with them.

The app isn’t free. It costs $3.99. But, the peace of mind of not having to deal with ads and have a great drawing app is worth it to me.

Often as homeschoolers, we’re looking for simple rewards that motivate kids to get their work done, but are still beneficial. This drawing app is one of them! The drawing portion helps kids work on their fine motor control—which can help improve handwriting. Kids can use either a stylus or their finger to draw. The stationary drawing screen is something I much prefer for my kids over flashing images which don’t require kids to develop a steady focus. The minimal writing and the cloze sentences would be a good reinforcement for kindergarteners and first graders. It’s a fun, easy-to-use app for kids. I also loved that I could create a separate account for each of my children and that it saved their drawings.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use drawing app for your kids and homeschool—I’d definitely check this one out!

Suzanne Sniffen is a homeschooling mom of three children. She has taught students ages 3–60 in a variety of settings in the past 17 years. Suzanne has been homeschooling for the past 11 years, after previously teaching in public and private schools. Talking with other parents about homeschooling and how children learn is something she enjoys every chance she gets. She also leads a homeschool chess club and maintains a blog of homeschooling resources. Since her kids were very young, she has been blogging about homeschooling, books, and life at


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