One of the things we’ve believed right from the start of Apps Playground is that children’s apps can be about kids creating and sharing their own stories, not just reading, watching and/or playing those of app developers.
Nosy Crow, whose series of fairytale apps have been some of our favourite stories over the past few years, clearly feels the same way, judging by its new app The Complete Fairytale Play Theatre.
It turns your iPhone or iPad into, well, a mini theatre, with a stage ready for your children’s stories involving characters from The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Goldilocks.
Children are presented with a blank stage each time they create a new play, and can choose some characters (or “puppets” as they’re called here) as well as props, a background and a song for the soundtrack.
Then, your child moves them around on screen by dragging the characters, while recording their voice with whatever dialogue they like. When they finish, the result is a video scene, which can be strung together with others into a longer story.
The stories can be watched within the app although there’s no way to save them to the camera roll yet, for sharing elsewhere. That may well be an addition in a forthcoming update, though.
One thing I like is that children are not restricted to only using characters and scenes from one story at a time: they can have a background from Red Riding Hood; a little pig, an ugly sister, and the ogre from Jack and the Beanstalk if they want.
This kind of app isn’t entirely new: Disney’s Story Theater apps are a bit like this, although not quite as flexible in what children can do. They’re good fun though, but Nosy Crow’s is my favourite in this genre.
The Complete Fairytale Play Theatre costs £3.99 for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store.