Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

10 Best iPad Art and Drawing Apps for Your Classroom

10 Best iPad Art and Drawing Apps for Your Classroom

By Dr. Elena Krasnoperova

reading too much? Whooos ReadingOne of the most important things we can do for our kids as teachers and parents is to encourage their creativity and artistic self-expression.

The 3 P’s: paper, pencils and paints remain our tried-and-true tools.

Still, there are many wonderful iPad apps—some free, some very inexpensive—that let children express their artistic side. Some of the apps also let students collaborate with each other, or share their artwork with parents or with other students.

The best part: all the apps come without the cleanup mess of traditional art tools, making less work for you, the teacher.

Below are the 10 best iPad art and drawing apps that we’ve found.

We scoured dozens of apps and app reviews. All of our recommended apps have at least a 3.5 star average AppStore rating, from hundreds or even thousands of reviewers.

After narrowing down the list, we had our own children (ranging in age from 4 to 10) try them out. So these are truly “child tested” apps!

More: 7 Ways to Inspire Creativity in the Classroom With Tech

1. Drawing Pad by Murtha Design Inc

Cost: $1.99

4 stars (1,794 ratings)

Drawing Pad is a versatile app that allows you to create your own art using photo-realistic crayons, markers, paint brushes, roller pens, stickers, chalk and more. Students simply tap a tool, choose a color and start drawing—it’s that simple.

Two coloring books are included with the download, and you can download 10 more via in-app purchase. Students can share their art via email, Twitter or Facebook, or print it with AirPrint.

2. Doodle Buddy by Dinopilot

Cost: Free

3.5 stars (209,572 ratings)

Doodle Buddy for iPad is the most fun students will have with their fingers, as they finger paint with thousands of colors, and drop in playful stamps. If they mess up, they can undo their last stroke or to start over by shaking the iPad. No cleanup mess, no fuss, and the price can’t be beat!

3 .123 Color HD by Steve Glinberg

$3.99 (a lite version is available for free)

4 stars (117 ratings)

123 Color HD Premium Version is a clever app that combines coloring books with hand writing guides, and includes 400 coloring pages. It works on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Through coloring and freestyle finger painting, kids learn numbers, shapes, colors and letters in 13 different languages including English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

4. Monster Coloring Book by Playtend Apps


4.5 stars, 125 ratings

This is another excellent coloring app with great reviews and a price that can’t be beat (free!). With Monster Coloring Book, you get all the fun at the touch of your fingers, clean up is simple, and the coloring is just as fun.

More: 9 Interactive Tools to Encourage Creative Learning

5. Drawing Box by Nguyen Tan Hon-Hu

$2.99 (a lite version is available for free)

4.5 stars (674 ratings)

This app offers a wide range of drawing and painting tools, as well as 10 different color palettes with a real color mixer to create a personal palette. Magic pens let students create special effects like autumn leaves, animal footprints and cartoon drawings. They can even record their work as a movie, and then replay it or send it to a friend!

6. PixieDust by LittleKits GmbH

$3.99 (a lite version is available for free)

4.5 stars (221 ratings)

PixieDust brings the classic magic drawing board to the iPad with many magical options and surprises. Little artists can expect unique magical stamps, patterns and lines from different themes, a variety of wallpapers and coloring pages, a wide range of brushes and crayons in different colors and line thicknesses, and more. Plus, every day your students get a magic stamp free.

7. Drawing with Carl by Tayasui

$3.99, free for iPad

4.5 stars (7,407 ratings)

This app features a friendly character named (you guessed it) Carl, and several of his friends. Students have access to easy drawing tools and talking stickers that repeat everything they say in a funny voice. Other features include mirror drawing, magical paint and more. The app lets students easily share their art via email or Facebook, and have friends vote on the best picture.

8. MoMA Art Lab by MoMA


4 stars (71 ratings)

This unique app does more than simply encourage artistic creation. It introduces young learners to the masterful works of modern art from MoMA. The app includes nine activities inspired by famous works of art, including creating a mobile, making a chance collage, and creating a shape poem. There’s even an activity where students collaborate on a group drawing. The app lets students share their artwork via email or on Twitter, and even send it to MoMA.

More: 8 Tech-Infused Design Projects for the Classroom

9. iLuv Drawing Animals by MyVijan LLC


4.5 starts (177 ratings)

This app teaches kids as young as 4 years old to draw 40 popular animals. It comes with step-by-step templates, friendly voice instructions, 30 custom backgrounds and textures, and fun stickers. Students also get blank pages to practice what they learned or to do freehand drawing.

10. Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure by Kidoodle


4.5 stars (72 ratings)

This unusual app makes your students’ drawings come to life! The drawings become part of animated cut-scenes as they complete the story. Oscar, Josephine, Pirate Scribblebeard and friends narrate each page, and encourage the students to continue with quirky and humorous animations.

We hope your students (or your kids) enjoy these apps. Happy drawing!

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