Draw a Person for Young Children on the iPad

Julie posted a comment with a question about finding an app for Draw A Person on the iPad. She commented that Doodle Buddy could be used to assist with drawing but she was looking for an app specifically for drawing a person.

After some searching, I unfortunately found no apps that featuring a early or developmental method of drawing people or body schemes for young children.  Most of the apps suited to young children features step by step drawing of shapes or animals as reviewed in the previous post  on January 1, 2012:

  • Drawing app
  • I Luv Drawing Animals
  • I Luv Drawing Santa
  • Learning to Draw is Fun
  • iDoodle app

I was reminded of some of my favorite books about drawing (other than Ed Emberley’s) the Usborne books I Can Draw Series that I have used with school children to work on drawing people or  animals (I Can Draw Animals (Usborne Playtime Series),  What Shall I Draw (What Shall I Do Today). Here is the I Can Draw People (Usborne Playtime)
book for ages 5 +:

I Can Draw People (Usborne Playtime) provides step by step models of how to draw people suited for primary aged students. After purchasing the book you could take a picture of the step by step instructions and import the picture in to Doodle Buddy for student to follow the step by step drawing and draw their own. You could create your drawing in Doodle Buddy with body parts missing to scaffold the activity for the student, then take a screen shot of the partially completed draw a person and import that into Doodle Buddy for the student to draw on.

Here is another clever way Doodle Buddy was used with pictures of the students taken with the camera of an iDevice imported and illustrated on in Doodle Buddy:

The drawing project using Doodle is from Karen Bosch’s  excellent presentation Fostering Creative App-titude using the iPad .  Although her creative idea was with older students, this could be done using pictures of younger students to have them identify body parts or tracing around their body on their pictures in Doodle Buddy. Pictures can then be sent or a screen shot made to transfer or use in another story telling, slide show app or made into a photo album.

Two other slide show apps that allows you to create a slide show importing or taking pictures and record audio within the apps are:

Show Me app – An interactive whiteboard app, allows you to take or choose a picture from the photo album and draw on similar to Doodle Buddy. Show Me app also allow you to audio record on the slides. Options to share the slide show are provided. Available for iPad, Free.

Educreations app – also is a slide show app that you can import a picture from photo library, Dropbox or take a picture from within the app. In this app you also can lock down the picture, a handy option when drawing on top of the picture. Audio recording is an option on the slides. Options to share the lesson or slide show are provided.

More Thoughts – Draw A Person Research

Searching for apps I found a lot of research about the developmental stages of children’s drawing which was a good perspective to be reminded of when working with special needs students that we work with. Here is some that might be of interest:

AAA Lab at Stanford Child Development on the concept of drawing animals versus people which suggests that children initially draw animals better than they draw people.

Susan Donley’s website presents developmental perspective of drawing development in childhood keeping in perspective the typical developmental sequence of draw a person skills as shown below:

If you know of an app or another suggestion of working on draw a person/body scheme with children please share!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Activity Worksheets on Your iPad, App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Drawing, Early Childhood, iPad, Occupational Therapy, Special education, Special Needs, Visual Motor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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