I have to admit, I was a bit unsure how Mister Maker – with all his gloopy glue, sheets of paper, googly eyes and stick on bits – could be effectively transferred into an app. Because craft is all about actually doing stuff, isn’t it?
Anyway, the kids didn’t agree. Ever since Wee Man met ‘the Maker’ at the Brighton Baby Expo, back when Bubby D was still far too little to have any idea what on earth he was so excited about, he’s been a huge fan. To the extent that I am now really, really good at pretending to be a triangle and doing the appropriate moves whenever the ‘shape song’ comes on.
First impression – yes, it definitely sounds like Mister Maker. Bubby D likes to sneak into our room at 6am, grab the iPad and fire up the app, waking us with a very jolly ‘oooh LALALALALAAAA…MISTER MAKERRRR’ which is either a good or a bad way to start the morning, depending on how much sleep we’ve had…
But of course, it doesn’t stop there.
Following the introduction, where they get to type in their name (Wee Man likes that bit as he’s learning to spell), there are a variety of different options to choose from.
Bubby D always makes a beeline for the minute makes. This involves filling in a pre-drawn shape using a variety of mediums – bits of paper you can ‘cut up’, a paint roller with a range of colour patterns to choose from, pens, paint…pretty much anything that causes colour and mess. Except of course, it’s not messy! Hurrah! (Not that we mind mess, but there is a time and a place, and car journeys, for example, are not one of them. And come to think of it, neither is 6am in my bed…).
She loves that when the minute is up, the bird thing bursts through the screen too – although not literally of course.
Wee Man on the other hand, likes the Shapes game. This involves a screen with the coloured outlines of lots of shapes on it – and he has to find a certain number of the chosen shape, and then ‘draw’ around the edge of it to colour it in. It’s actually been really useful, because his fine motor skills aren’t great and the school have told us to get him practicing this sort of thing. So, although he struggled initially to outline the shape properly he’s now much better at it and I’ve seen a similar improvement when he’s actually drawing or having a go at writing.
There are plenty of other options of things to do – take a look in the Doodle Drawers! – and as you’d expect Mister Maker pops up fairly frequently throughout offering advice, encouragement and dropping in some of his trademark phrases. Despite my initial dubiousness it turns out is is actually a really nice app, and one that both kids – particularly Bubby D – keep turning to out of choice time and time again.
Well worth a look for those times when you’d like to get crafty, but real full on messy craft isn’t an option!
The Mister Maker app is available on the AppStore, and is currently priced at £2.99