Does your son or daughter love to color? Do you want to begin teaching them some basic computer skills? Then I have a terrific software program for you to try! Color It by Numbers is a delightful, high-tech coloring book, geared to help children “quickly learn new numbers and colors while also gaining computer skills.” There are three different coloring books to choose from: animals, princesses, and vehicles. I got to try out each one, and I had a lot of fun in the process. Now I have the opportunity to tell my readers about this product and give three of you a copy of the animals coloring book.
When I first turned on the program I was greeted by child-friendly music playing in the background. The princess coloring book has classical music playing; the animal and vehicle coloring books have more upbeat music playing in the background. If you’d rather not have the musical experience, you can turn off both the music and the sound effects for the program.
What else makes these coloring books more than just your typical computer coloring program? There are three different coloring methods: color it by numbers, color it to make it visible, and color it your favorite colors. The first one I tried was color it by numbers. I can see how this particular method could help a child learn to match numbers; each of the nine “paint tube” colors has a number that you use to color the corresponding numbers on the picture. If you click on a space with a different number than the paint you are using, the correct paint color needed to fill in that space wiggles, giving the child a hint to what color is needed. When you change colors there is a fun “poof” from the paint tube, letting you know you have clicked on the color. Once the entire picture is colored correctly, you are rewarded with bubbles that appear on the screen, along with magical sound effects.
The color to make it visible method is similar in that you color the spaces according to the numbers. The difference is that there are A LOT more spaces to color, so many that you need to color them in order to actually see what the picture is supposed to be (hence the name of the method). I’d say this activity would be great once your child has mastered the color it by number method and can better handle the computer mouse.
When choosing the color it your favorite colors method the artist has twice as many paints to choose from (18 total). Plus, you can use the paint tube icon at the top of the screen to mix colors on a paint pallet, creating your own unique color combinations to use. This method allows the artist to truly be creative in their coloring choices.
Now, I couldn’t just keep this awesome program to myself, could I? I had to let my daughter try it out; after all, it is supposed to be for kids. Peanut is almost 3 ½, and she had no computer experience until she tried this program. We tried the color it by numbers method first. Using the mouse was a foreign concept to her, but she quickly learned to click the button to fill in the spaces with color. Moving the cursor to the exact spot was still a little too hard, so I helped guide her hand and she pointed to the screen to the areas that should be colored. She still had to do all the brain work behind it, and as I helped guide her hand, she began to get the hang of using the computer mouse.
After coloring a couple pictures according to number, I let her try the color it your favorite colors method. For this method I let her have free reign of the computer mouse, since she didn’t have to click on a certain area for color to appear, and therefore didn’t need my help maneuvering the mouse. She had a blast doing it all on her own. In fact, when it was bedtime I had to promise her she could “use the computer to paint again” the next day.
The company that produces Color It by Numbers software actually lets you download the first two pictures of each coloring book free. It’s a great way to check out the product and see if it is something you and you’re child enjoy. If you are interested in purchasing the complete coloring book (there are 20 pictures in the animal one), it is only $9.99. I am excited to be able to offer three free copies of the animal coloring book to my readers. If you are interested, all you need to do is leave a comment to this post. I will draw three names at random and send the winners the serial numbers needed to download the complete coloring book. For a second way to enter, go to my Blog Frog community and leave a comment (just be sure to let me know you are interested in Color It by Numbers). Winners will be announced next week (April 10, 2011).
The views and opinions of this product are solely my own. I received no monetary compensation for this review; I did receive a complimentary copy of the product to review and keep.