Why the new Draw Something app is good for your kid’s development

Move over Temple Run – there’s a new smartphone app ruling the App store.

If you have an Android or iOS device, you’ve probably heard about a new game called Draw Something - currently the most purchased app in the App store. It’s only been available for a few weeks but this addictive game has quickly become a new social phenomenon.

Draw Something is a combination of Words With Friends and Pictionary where you put your drawing skills to the test against your opponents’ ability to guess your doodles.

Here’s how it works: you’re offered three words that range from easy to hard in terms of difficulty, and you have to draw one of them using only four colours.

Your opponent - who can be a Facebook friend or unknown - has to guess what the original word was from an assortment of letters. The game pauses automatically if you're not using the app, so you can go back and continue a game at any time. It doesn’t require a tutorial and has no rules.

For some, Draw Something is an addictive game to help pass the time, while for aspiring artists, it’s the perfect platform to show off their talent.

[Related feature: How to improve your vocabulary]

But what’s great about Draw Something is that it appeals to gamers of every age and it can be a good learning tool for children, allowing them to discover new ideas and make sense of them through association.

Encouraging children to explore their drawing ability can set them up for great success. Take some time to sit with your child and have some fun while learning.

[Related feature: What your doodles say about you]

Here are some benefits of drawing activities:

  • It stimulates brain development: drawing promotes fine motor skills, spatial understanding as well as better handwriting and manual agility.

  • Helps to develop hand to eye coordination: by using this app, a child can use the touch screen to study details carefully.  Children will begin to learn how to make comparisons between different objects like shapes, proportions, tones and sizes.

  • It builds confidence: because there is no right way to make a drawing, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creations.

  • Doodling can be a great stress buster and provides insights into a child’s personality: combining art with fun can also be an ideal way for children to vent any little person frustrations they may have. Psychologists also encourage children to draw as it reveals a lot about their state of mind and provides a good basis for psychoanalysis.

  • It helps to develop vocabulary: while drawing, children can talk about the image they are constructing as a parent participates in the game with them. This will help the children to learn new words and to express how they perceive the marks, shapes and forms created. Lines can be described as straight, crooked, curved, jagged, long, short slanting, thick, thin or smooth. Lines can be drawn as single or multiple, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, wavy or zig-zag.

Draw Something is available for free or purchase on the App store for ages four and over.

Do you think drawing helps improve children’s mental well being? Which other games do you think promote positive aspects of a child’s development?