Product Review: Crayola Color Alive App & Coloring Pages

As my family and I prepare to move for the first time (to another state), I find myself searching for fun things to keep the kids occupied on the long car ride out.  We will essentially be in the car from sun up to sun down – this is no easy feat for kiddos of preschool and kindergarten ages.

Last time we made the trip to visit family, roughly 8 months ago, I stopped by the dollar store and loaded up on lots of cheap new toys to capture their attention on the ride.  This lasted roughly two hours.

I find that coloring books can be a huge help for creative kids since coloring takes some time to complete a page.  The downside is that crayons often fall to the floor, inciting tantrums for the smallest of the two kids and potential melted messes for me if not caught soon enough in the summer heat.  The tip here is to make sure you have a limited number of crayons for car use and count them to make sure you have them all when you get out of the car.

On my last trip to Walmart, the kids were begging for some new toys (because they get one every time they go with Grandma, so they expect it from me now, too, lol!).  I put a $5 cap on the spending per child in an attempt to get out for cheap.  Well, they won…. they each ended up with a cheap toy fitting the price cap AND a new coloring book!

My oldest found a really cool coloring book retailing for just under $7.  The coloring book itself wasn’t the cool part though… (I’m a cheap-o when it comes to coloring books, so if it didn’t come with the capabilities it offers via the accompanying app, I would have passed it up).

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The Crayola Color Alive series features standard coloring pages with small set of crayons that, when scanned into the app, can be rendered into “4D” using the same coloring patterns your child put on the page.  The drawing comes alive and moves on the screen!  How cool is that?

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This is sure to capture my 5 year old’s attention on the long car ride – if only for an hour or two. There are 16 pages to color in the book, so while that’s considerably less pages than a standard coloring book, I have to admit the whole “bring it to life app” is pretty cool.

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The downside to the entire thing, other than a shortage of coloring pages is that the app seems a little buggy.  It seems to crash a lot or freeze on my iPad and it doesn’t seem to auto-scan the image the way it’s supposed to, so I am forced to line up the image with a template before screen capture which can result in a less than accurate rendering of your child’s coloring skills (ours had uncolored areas when he actually colored over the lines).

Since my almost-three-year-old likes to do everything her big brother does, I found they offer free downloadable/printable coloring pages from the website.  Without spending extra money to prepare for the trip, I can print girly pages for her (she loves girly stuff) and   let her participate in the fun, too!

Thank you, Crayola! (Nope, I wasn’t paid to say that) You may have saved my sanity for a small portion of our road trip. He spent about 30 minutes coloring the page and, so far, another 30 minutes playing with his new dragon friend 🙂

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