Another very popular app in our house at the moment is “Create a Car ” from Abcya.com. It is billed as a creativity app for children aged 3-9 and I would agree with this description. Reflecting on the boys using this app, it struck me that it is unusual for Leo to be making and creating on the Pad rather than gaming or gaming to learn.I’d like to see him and his brother use more apps like this one.
What does it do?
The app comes with a range of car, truck and van bodies which users can then add to in order to make their own vehicle. These drag and drop elements include everything from simple wheels to nuclear jet packs. The propellers and engine thrusters are very popular with both boys. These customised autos can later be saved in a user’s garage.
Both Charlie and Leo have enjoyed making their vehicles, most notably adding an abundance of add ons to their police, fire and “blue” cars. Aside from the creative experience, they have also helped each other to type in their name and the rather random names they come with for their vehicles.
i have noted there is a built-in tool to allow user to write a description of their vehicle without leaving the app. using prompts and a word bank based on the parts you have used.this does provide a strong and authentic stimulus for writing and would work well in upper Key Stage 1 and into Year 3.
Once the cars are built they can be shown off in the garage and both my boys enjoyed turning the ignition key and watching all the add ons animate. Exciting though that is, I would have liked to have seen the wheels move beyond a spin and then have the vehicles drive away. My other feature request would be the ability to customise the cars further. Drag and drop is great, but what about the ability to pick a colour for the cars/vans? Or how about being able to photo import a driver image or a texture for paint work?
This is a creative app which also includes opportunities for writing, and as my own boys found it so engaging, then I would include it within my category of recommendations for Key Stage 1 apps.
By the way If you don’t have access to Ipads in school, then you can still play the game using the web based version, click here for this site.