Monday, March 21, 2011

Color By Number Review

Recently I was asked to review a computer app by Color it by Numbers. Since Selena has been slow to catch onto the concept of coloring by number from a color book, I was very curious to see what this program would be like. I really wondered if through this program Selena might catch onto the concept of coloring by number.

I really was not disappointed in this program, as soon as Selena sat down and I gave her the instructions she went right to work, unlike what she does when faced with this concept in a regular color book. The designers have provided cute pictures that would attract any child. There are three color books, animals which is the easiest level, a princess book and a car book that are a little more difficult and complex. I do like the fact that they are not focusing on just a one fit approach, but offer something for both boys and girls. It also offers 4 different language options, English, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. The instructions for installation are very easy as are the instructions for how to get started and to fully use the program. I also like the fact that it is formatted for all screen resolutions.

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As you can see, the animal book is the easier book. This is the one we started with. Selena had a lot of fun with this color book. It was easy for her to find the areas to be colored. The second book we tried was the Princess book. It is a little more advanced and while Selena enjoyed playing with it, she never finished one picture. However, taking into fact her age of 4 yrs old and concentration level it probably was a little too busy for her and would be better suited for an older child.

The first things that I noticed is that all coloring books are only numbered 1 through 9, it might be nice if in the more advanced books if they could incorporate some higher numbers. Also the 4’s are used with the common type font, some younger children are still learning the open topped 4’s or our normal writing font, I feel that would be nice to possibly change the font at least in the easier book for the younger student. While Selena didn’t have a problem with this font difference, I do see where some younger children might. Another thing I felt might be nice for the younger student, especially since the claim is that this will help the child with number recognition is if there was an option for the parent to turn on a voice recognition of the numbers. It didn’t take Selena long though to figure out if she tried to paint in the wrong numbered area, the correct paint that she should be using highlighted.

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There is an option so that so that as the child paints the picture, it can be a simple picture or can be done in a manner of what I would refer to as a picture puzzle. Selena tried both of these options and truly did not have a preference either way, just so long as she could watch the colors going on the page.

100_4548 There is a color pallet so that one can change the colors to their personal preference. There is also the option to turn off the color by numbers and then the child gets 18 paint tubes that they can choose and color the picture as they please. These options would really hold the interest of an older child. I like these options for that reason, as older children might just want to be creative on their own.

While the pictures are saved automatically when the program is closed, so the child does not loose their work, the pictures can easily be cleared, so that the child can repaint them. It didn’t take long for Selena to figure out where that feature was, and she was very quick to point it out to me.

100_4537 This program does play music while the child is painting. The music is appropriate, soft and gentle, but I found Selena turning it off numerous times as she got tired of listening to it. The music is different for each color book and does tend to be themed according to the book they are working in. The program also has an option where there is a popping sound when the child clicks on a paint and then again applies the color to the picture, this is easily turned on or turned off. The control panel is truly very easy to navigate, not complicated at all which makes it very nice not only for a parent to make changes, but for the child to figure out as well.

The price of each color book is $9.99. According to the frequent asked questions, once you pay this amount and given the license any updates should be automatically provided to you at no extra cost. I am not sure though if you need to check frequently at the site to see if there is any updates, or if they are automatically applied to your computer. Payment is through a secured site using a credit card. They do have an option to pay in any currency. There is a 14 day 100% money back guarantee. They also offer a free trial version, but keep in mind you will only get two pictures in the free trial.

My over all reaction to this program, is very positive. Would I pay $9.99 per color book, yes, I would have to say that I would. It does promote number recognition, and hours of fun, along with mouse coordination as well as creativity.

Selena’s overall reaction, outside of not liking the birds in the background especially when she was painting a whale or crab, the background really bothered her, she did enjoy the program. I will let the following pictures speak for themselves.

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Her exact words about this program was, “I love it, but I do wish the birds would go away!” For some reason those birds just bothered her.

I was given all three color books for my review. I was not compensated in any other means for this review. My review is based on my honest opinion with all likes and dislikes.

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  1. Her reaction to the birds is amusing

  2. Thanks for this thorough review. I have to say that $10 per coloring book is pricey! While I haven't seen free "color by number" books online, I saw enough of free coloring books. I have one iPod app that does color by number, by letter (capital and lower case) or goes into free coloring mode, and its price is $0.99 cents. You can buy extra coloring books for it for 0.99 each, and each book comes with about 20 pics to color.

  3. Just to let you know I just posted a raffle to help Japan.
    If you are interested on helping you are more than welcome to participate.
    thank you : )