Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Apps for Creativity in Primary Education

This blog is going to look at a selection of apps, which can be use creatively in primary schools. These apps can be used for any subject in the school curriculum, it just need imagination and creativity. The apps include drawing, editing photos, creating movies, photo stories, animation, graphic novel and ebooks, composing music and other useful creative apps. Many of these apps have the option to publish work to larger audiences online, increasing the incentive for the children to produce quality pieces of work. Many of these apps can be used with other apps (App Smashing/Workflow) to improve children's work.

Drawing Apps

Brushes: £5.49

Brushes is specially designed for the iPad. Simple to learn, yet powerful enough for the pros (I think this is the app David Hockney has used). It features an advanced colour pickers, several realistic brushes, multiple layers, extreme zooming, and a simple interface. Brushes records all your actions when painting.

Draw Free for iPad: FREE

Draw Free for iPad allows drawers to sketch and doodle pictures. There is an unlimited variety of colours, chose different backgrounds as a style, or solid or choose your own from your photo library. Undo and redo buttons, draw lines, curves and points with rounded brushes.

SketchBook MobileX: FREE

Autodesk SketchBook® Express for iPad is a fun and intuitive drawing application. Get a taste of the SketchBook Pro experience with SketchBook Express.
Use professional-grade tools and brushes to create doodles, quick sketches or artwork on-the-go.

Ink Artist: £0.69

Ink Artist that built with the powerful vector drawing engine allows you to experiment with your own brushes with not-quite-natural painting. Use a stylus or your finger to draw strokes that appear smooth at any zoom level without jaggies or big pixels. It is capable both of mimicking “real” media all the way to producing very “digital” style artwork.

Colar Mix: FREE

Enjoy a traditional physical coloring experience. Watch your artwork come to life on your mobile device screen. Watch the animation from any angle. Latest augmented reality technology. Zoom in and Zoom out the animation
Play and Pause the animation. Different music with each page.

Photo editing

iPhoto: 2.99

A powerful set of Multi-Touch tools helps you perfect colour and exposure, crop, straighten and retouch images. Enhance pictures with Apple designed effects with just one tap. Or use fingertip brushes to apply adjustments exactly where you want them.

Color Splash for iPad: £1.49

Color Splash lets you quickly give photos a dramatic look by converting them back to black and white, while keeping your chosen details in colour. Use your finger as a brush to "paint" sections of your image black and white, or bring back to its original colour. Zooming in and out using two-finger pinching gesture allows you to work on details with pixel-accuracy.

Snapseed: £2.99

Snapseed makes it so easy to enhance, transform and share photos with ease. You can easily adjust photos, tweak photos with Tune Image, use Selective Adjust to enhance specific objects or areas of your photos, experiment with filters like Drama, Vintage, Grunge and Tilt-Shift and add Image Borders.

Photoshop Touch: £5.99

Transform images with core Adobe® Photoshop® features in an app designed for tablets. Combine images and apply professional effects. Use popular Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images.  

Shape Collage: £1.49

Shape Collage is a collage maker that lets you create beautiful collages with your photos. In a matter of seconds you can arrange your photos in the shape of a heart, circle, word, or other shapes!

Pic Collage: FREE

It's fast, fun and easy. It's the best way to create awesome collages of your friends and favorite stars, with stickers, text, web search and freeform cutouts!

Diptic: £0.69

Diptic helps you easily combine multiple photos and apply artistic effects to create exceptional photo collages that can be shared with friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr or Posterous. With 14 filters, rounded borders and 52 customizable layouts, there are unlimited options to create unique images!

Bubblepixs: FREE

BubblePix lets you view 360° photos and videos that have been taken with the BubbleScope accessory. The BubbleScope is an optical accessory that can be attached to your iPhone enabling you to capture, share and enjoy instant 360° panoramic images and videos in a single shot – one in the eye for old style shoot and stitch 360° photography!

Aviary is a powerful photo editor which we created because we wanted a quick and easy way to edit our photos on the go with no fuss. We’ve included all the tools you need, in a super intuitive interface so you can get right to editing.

Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch: FREE

Night Zookeeper, the award winning creative project, presents Drawing Torch. Drawing Torch is a magical, drawing and story experience. You become a Night Zookeeper and take on creative drawing missions to look after thousands of magical animals and defeat the monsters that attack the zoo. What do you think a Spying Giraffe looks like? 

Superimpose: £0.69

Just with a few taps, create professional grade superimposed or juxtaposed photos on your iPhone! You don't need a computers and expensive software to superimpose or cut/copy/paste one photo on top of another any more.

Moldiv: FREE

Moldiv lets you combine and edit multiple photos to make amazing collages. Moldiv has fantastic frames and lots of professional editing options. Especially Moldiv offers awesome photo effects and great decoration features like text captions and numerous stamps.
Make your stories in Moldiv and share them on your favorite social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We guarantee marvelous time in Moldiv!

Over: £1.49

Add beautiful text and artwork to your photos and share them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr & Instagram. Create inspirational, informational or even funny images to share quickly and easily. In only a few seconds you can add captions, quotes, jokes, memes, poems or anything else you can think of to a photo.


iMovie: £2.99

iMovies allows you to add videos, photos, music, and sound effects and trim the length of any clip. You can create movie trailers with immersive graphics and original scores, build polished projects with themes, record and edit soundtracks and share movies via iMessage.

Avid Studio: £1.99

Big-screen moviemaking comes to the touchscreen with Avid® Studio for iPad. We’ve distilled the world’s leading film-editing technology into an easy-to-use app that enables you to edit video, audio, and photos at the speed of your creativity. Swiftly arrange clips in the Storyboard, make precision edits using the Timeline, and add high-quality transitions, effects, voiceover, and a soundtrack.

Silent Film Director: £0.69

Create amazing vintage videos in minutes. You can add music, title cards, transitions, effects and more. Fun. Simple. Elegant. Highly intuitive, powerful & crammed with unique features, Silent Film Director presents the most unbelievable fusion of retro, high-tech and fun.

Green Screen Movie FX: £1.49

The app gives you the ability to use an special effect known as Chroma Key or Green Screen in a simple, fun and quick way. Simply select multiple colors in the viewfinder by tapping the screen and instantly replace it with a video or picture of your choice. Imagine replacing the sky with a scene from space showing a planet spinning or changing the view out of your window into Niagara Falls. 

iMotion HD: FREE

iMotion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS. Take pictures, edit your movie and export* HD 720p videos to your device or directly to Youtube. Time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object look like it’s moving on its own.

No special skills required, Moviestorm is designed for super-fast semi-automated creation of simple but effective videos, to share. Moviestorm is the start of a whole new approach to letting everyone create video messages, anywhere, anytime.
You can be whoever you want, wherever you want - just record your speech and your actor comes alive, ready for direction.

Funny Movie Maker: FREE

Instantly create hilarious movies to share with friends. Choose any face — photos of friends, celebrities, politicians or yourself — and record videos replacing their mouth (or entire face) with yours. Adjust the pitch of your voice and add music to complete your movie. Make any picture talk and share the laughs with friends.

TouchCast: FREE

Video and the web are coming together. Experience both like never before with TouchCast: a new medium that looks like video, but feels more like the web.
TouchCasts are completely clickable. A TouchCast is a video that is fully browsable, responsive, and alive. Webpages, images, and an assembly of video Apps (vApps) can be tapped for a two-way video experience.


My Story - Book Maker for Kids: £1.49

Great potential for this app! A really simple ebooks creator which combines tools for drawing, photography, voice recording, writing and sharing. Promotes literacy and creativity for children, ideally used in Key Stage 1. The child's book can then be shared within the app directly to ibooks.

Book Creator for iPad: £2.99

Another simple way to create your own iBooks, which could be used with children in Key Stage 2. Ideal for children's picture books, photo books, art books, manuals, textbooks etc. Again once the book has been created it can be shared within the app to ibooks to appear on your ibook shelf. 

Creative Book Builder: £2.49

A much more advanced book builder, which could be used by upper Key Stage 2. Create Book Builder enables you to create content by adding paragraphs, images, videos, audio recordings, music and links. You can add page breaks with chapters, change font and preview and share your book in iBooks.

Our Story: FREE

This app that has been developed by child psychologists and other specialists at The Open University enables young children to take part in fun games which can help develop interests and skills that will be relevant to them when they start to read.

Scribble Press: FREE

Scribble Press is a book creation platform that allows kids to imagine, create and share their own stories with great drawing and writing tools. Download your books instantly to your iBooks library! Scribble Press for iPad makes it easy to create an ebook – either write your own or use one of over 50 story templates. From serious to seriously fun, you can make a book about any topic and instantly publish to the gallery or share with friends anywhere in the world. 


GarageBand: £2.99

GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of Touch instruments and a full-featured recording studio. Use multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument.

Sound Cloud: FREE

Record a voice, moment or original music in seconds and share it privately or publicly on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. Easily access, browse and listen to the sounds people share with you, wherever you are. The latest app is more social then ever, making it even easier to explore, like and comment on sounds right from your mobile. Share your sounds with the new SoundCloud iPhone and iPad app.

Graphic Novels

Strip Designer: £1.99

Create your own personal comic strips using photos from your photo album. Select one of the many page templates and insert photos into the cells. Add balloons with words, add additional symbols, like "Boom!", "Slash!" or bang to spice up a story.

Halftone: £0.69

Halftones turns your photos into unique, vintage comics. The app makes it easy to add paper styles, captions, speech balloon, graphic stamps, and fonts.

Comic Life: £2.99

Comic Life 2.0 for iOS has everything you need for creating and sharing comics, including fun and quirky templates, stylized image filters, and an easy-to-use drag and drop placement. You have full control over the design of your comics with a huge selection design options – colors, fonts, gradients, balloons, captions, panels and more.
Comic Tycoon: £1.49

Wood distilled and developed a collection of his trademark comics panels that epitomize the absolute essence of drawing comic book panels. These panels, known as Wally Wood ® Panels That Always Work, hold the secret to a comic book illustrator's success, and those who learn from them benefit from the master's wisdom. We have teamed up with the Wallace Wood Estate to build a unique new composition tool that will allow you to take reference photos based upon the Wally Wood® Panels That Always Work.

SonicPics: £1.99

SonicPics is the easiest way to turn your images into custom slideshow movies. Add images from your photo library, arrange your photos and record a voiceover narrating your images as you swipe through them.


iStopMotion: £2.99

iStopMotion allows you to create stop motion animations and time lapse recordings. You can tell your story using inanimate objects such as toys or clay figures and bring them to life frame by frame. Ideal for use in the classroom across the curriculum, honing creativity, problem-solving and communication skills in children of all ages.

I Can Animate: £2.99

Already used on desktop computer in schools, I Can Animate now bring the stop-frame animations to the iPad. You can capture frames using the in built camera, display onion skinning, undo support, preview whole projects and can be added to an iMovie project for a really polished movie.

Puppet Pals HD: FREE

Simply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later. This app is as fun as your own creativity. Act out a story of Pirates on the high seas, fight as scary monsters, or play the part of a Wild West bandit on the loose. You can even combine any characters however you want! Your creations are only limited by your imagination.

Puppet Pals 2: £2.99
All NEW and improved magical app that will spark the creativity in everyone. Simply pick out a location, then drag your characters around and record your very own movie! It's so easy. Characters automagically talk when you do. They walk around at your command, pose their arms and legs, and can do just about anything you can think of. Use your own images to create an endless supply of new characters.

Animate It: £1.99

Make your own animations with the help of world famous Aardman Animations Studios, creators of Wallace & Gromit! This simple, easy to use animation app will have you creating your own stop-motion animations on the go in no time!

Toontastic teaches key storytelling principles that help to promote Creativity at a young age. Its drawing tools bring kids’ wildest ideas to life alongside virtual playsets chock full of pirates, princesses, far away galaxies, and many other characters and settings to spark the imagination.

 Keynotes: £6.99

Keynote is a presentation apps designed for mobile devices. You create presentation by simple touching and tapping. Highlight your data with 3D bar, line, area, and pie charts, animated with new 3D chart builds such as crane, Grow, Radical, and Rotate. If you own an iPhone you can buy the Keynote Remote app (£0.69), which you can use to control your presentation through your wireless network.

Skitch: FREE

In Skitch you can use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation on photos, screenshots, maps and webpages then share them. See image below for an example of making mathematics real life. The image was found in maps and then opened in Skitch.

Maps: Built in App

See where you are or where you’re going in map view, satellite view, or a hybrid of both. Even see street-level images. Zoom in and the Retina display puts you right in front of, say, the Eiffel Tower. Zoom out to explore.

Scan: FREE

Scan is a user friendly QR Code and barcode scanner. You can visit to create and manage your own QR codes for free. QR codes are easy to use and can be an informative and fun addition to the classroom.

Move the Turtle: Programming for Kids: £1.99

Move The Turtle is an educational application for  iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands.Your child will also become familiar with the notions of loops, procedures, variables and conditional instructions. (Logo programming Language). 

Sketch Nation Studio: FREE

Sketch Nation Studio is an app where users create and play their own games or download games from other users. 

With Sketch Nation Studio, you can even have the chance to sell your game on the App Store for money.Creating a game is super simple:  Just draw the in game objects and play around with the customisation options.


j2e is an on-line creativity tool designed for education. It brings the power of the web into the classroom.

Children can create, share and learn in an e-safe environment. Desktop publishing and word processing, paint tools, web pages, forms, teacher mark-up, recording sound and video embedding, text to speech and real time collaboration are all simple with j2e.

Explain Everything: £1.99

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything's flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display.

Penultimate: £0.69

Penultimate gives you the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea. Penultimate stands with the core productivity apps on your iPad. Every detail of the user interface has been designed and refined to be simple and intuitive - no complicated or cluttered settings.

123d Sculpt: FREE

You can sculpt and paint interesting and realistic 3D shapes. It’s easy to get started. Choose a shape from the library of creatures, humans, vehicles, and more. Then push, pull and paint to make the sculpture your own. When you are done, take snapshots in the camera room or create animated QuickTime turntable movies to upload.

Phoster: £1.49

With stylish templates which are already within the application, you will be able to create posters without great effort.
When you get the job done of first step making posters, you can utilize various effects and decorates to complete the chic posters your own.

iThoughtHD: £6.99

Mindmapping enables you to visually organise your thoughts, ideas and information. Task lists, brainstorming, project planning, goal setting, concept mapping, course Notes/Revision, meeting Notes.

Popplet: £2.99

Great for work. Great for school. Popplet is a platform for your ideas. Popplet's super simple interface allows you to move at the speed of your thoughts. With Popplet you can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in realtime. Quickly and easily!

Aurasma: FREE

Ever wished you could bring the real world to virtual life? Well now you can, with Aurasma - the world's first visual browser. Aurasma allows smart phone or tablet to recognise images and objects. It then augments your views of the real world with video, music and 3D animations called 'Auras'. You can even use the simple tools in the app to create and share your own Auras.

iBrainstorm: FREE

Capturing and sharing your inner most creative genius has never been easier. Introducing the first multi-device collaboration tool from Universal Mind. From iPhone to iPad with just a flick of the finger, iBrainstorm has set the bar and redefined the very nature of collaboration.

InkFlow: FREE

The Basic Edition of Inkflow completely FREE. The Basic Edition is a full featured note-taking and sketching app. It comes with the Fountain Pen with black ink and all the features above. Books max out at 20 pages each, but you can create as many as you like.

Mind mapping tool that turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device.

VideoScribe HD: £2.99

A completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that's so popular on commercials. We empower you to create really powerful videos without any design or technical knowledge through a simple, logical application that delivers the power of a multi-thousand pound production.

Qrafter Pro: £1.99

Qrafter Pro is a two-dimensional barcode scanner for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Its main purpose is to scan and parse the contents of QR Codes. It can also generate QR Codes.

Morfo 3D: £0.69

Use Morfo 3D Face Booth with a photo of a friend, celebrity, pet or just about any object you can imagine - and quickly create a talking, dancing, life-like 3D character! Once captured, make your character say anything you want, wear wigs and makeup, speak in a silly voice, rock out, disco dance, suddenly gain 300lbs, and more.

Creatorverse: £2.99

Become an inventor as you design unique creations and then set them in motion. You’ll never know what to expect as you watch your creations bounce, roll, tilt or even accelerate on the screen. Let your creations come to life as you play with different joints, forces, motors, teleporters, and inputs then watch what happens next. From the simplest bouncing ball to an elaborate pinball machine, the possibilities for tinkering are endless on Creatorverse.

My Custom Soundboard: £0.69

My Custom Soundboard HD allows you to record your own sounds to create your own custom soundboard!! The simple layout is great for children, and fun for adults as well!
Record your sound, choose a photo, and your sound effect button is created. Record over 40 sounds!

Cloudart: £0.69

Unleash your creativity by making beautiful word clouds on your iPad. Simply give Cloudart some text from a web page or paste some into the app and it will automatically create a gorgeous word cloud for you in seconds. Next, get busy with the intuitive sliders to customise your cloud to your heart's content.

Type Drawing: £1.99

TypeDrawing is super easy and perfect for creating typography art and even unique watermarks on your photos. Type a sentence, then just draw with your finger. Voila! You've now got a one of a kind, totally unique and amazing typographic work of art. If you love typography, or even if you don't know what that means, you can easily create poetic visual art with this fun and easy-to-use app.

Pen and Paper: £1.49

Pen and Paper is a state of the art modernized version of the notebook. Pen and Paper enables you to zoom into very small details while you write your notes. Simply pinch and drag with two fingers to zoom and pan. This allows you accurately draw or edit very small details. You can draw with your finger, but you can also double tap to easily add text, and add geometric primitives, arrows, and photos. Move and resize parts of your note easily, with the area selection tool.

LifeCards: £1.49

With Lifecards you can use up to 4 of your photos to design your own imaginative postcard directly on your phone. While you edit the card you can freely zoom and pan to get the important details right. You can insert, move, scale, and rotate photos from your photo-album, and you can also insert texts and select font, color, size, and alignment.

Path On: £0.69

You can input your text along the freely drawn shape with your finger. Just draw a stroke and type your words, and that's it! In addition, it also provides various shapes of paths like square, circle, spiral and paragraph.These advanced interfaces make you to work with the best way for creating artistically inspirational photographies or informational images etc.

Miss Ward's Collaborative Learning Ideas: FREE

This app contains 29 different ideas, broken down into easy to follow steps, to help spark these collaborations. You can also mark activities as 'Favourite' for easy future reference.
These activities are particularly suitable for use within a Primary School, but would also lend themselves to broader audiences.

iMaps: £1.49

iMaps+ brings Google Maps, Directions and Street View back to your iOS6 iPhone or iPad. Powered by Google's Vector SDK, iMaps+ boasts quick load times, automatic caching of viewed areas and easy access to street view.

Touch App Creator: £2.49

TouchAppCreator enables everyone to create touch-optimized, and content-centric mobile web apps for both iPhone and iPad in a few minutes on the go. No sign up is required. You can edit your app ONCE and generated app supports both iPhone and iPad automatically.

Flowboard: FREE

Flowboard is a storytelling and presentation app that allows anyone to make side-scrolling publications with images, text, videos, links, and photo galleries. Whether you have a story to tell, an idea to share, or a presentation to give, Flowboard allows you to create & present right from your iPad, or share to any device. Flowboards are fun, stylish, and entertaining.


  1. You need to try Pic Collage its a great collage maker where you can insert photos, text, backgrounds and stickers and it's FREE. Mandy Robinson

    1. Thanks Mandy, really appreciate your contributions. Consider it added!

  2. Just tried Art Set (69p) as recommended by Simon Haughton (see his blog) - it is a fantastic art app with extremely realistic effects, great colours, fab choice of pens and even better really simple and straightforward to use. Thanks Mandy

    1. I've seen his blog using Art Set and the Olympics - great idea and blog. I've added Art Set to apps for Art, although I'm with you it's certainly an app for creativity. It's hard to know sometimes which category to put these apps into. Thanks once again for the useful suggestions.

  3. Really a good list for Educators.

    I wonder why Comics Head app is not included in Graphic Novels category mate. It has made me productive and creative since I started using it.

  4. Hi Mr Andrews,
    Just wondering if you thought Night Zookeeper's free iPad apps (Drawing Torch; Teleporting Torch; and Story Pairs) would be suitable for this list? It's a creative drawing game for kids where they use their imagination to invent their own fantastical animals to live in the magical night zoo :-)
    We also do school projects where the Night Zookeeper will come and visit for a day of fun and games! Here's the Facebook page for more info: