It must be more fun growing up nowadays with all the cool gadgets for kids. When I was little, we had to make do with a box of crayons. The kid with the biggest box ruled. Now I suppose whoever has the coolest gadget rules. Griffin Technology is a leading manufacturer of cool stuff for kids with such products as Color Studio HD/iMarket stylus, DigiTools Packs, and Crayon-themed earphones.
Griffin recently launched the Crayola Light Marker ($29.99), which looks like a giant crayon, but functions like a magic wand. It will interact with an iPad screen at a distance of as much as three feet, but you can actually touch the screen and use the wand like an old fashioned crayon. It works equally well with both the iPad and iPad Mini.
In the box, you get an AA battery and a folding stand for holding the iPad at the most propitious angle. It does not come with the necessary small Phillips screwdriver for opening and securing the battery compartment, which is a bit of a bother and probably beyond the motor skills of most young kids. A better battery system would be desirable.
Once the battery is in place, all you have to do is calibrate the device by touching it to the camera lens on the front of the iPad. It must be in view of the camera in order to work. A screen warning advises if out of range.
The app has a digital Crayola Crayon Box with digital markers, crayons, paintbrushes, stamps and more. The Crayola Light Marker app includes multiple activities such as the following:
- Dot to Dot: Connect the dots and see what appears;
- Splatter Paint: Pop the balloons for colorful splattery fun;
- Coloring Pages: Paint in the air to color coloring pages;
- Hide 'n Seek: Find hidden objects in dark rooms with the Light Marker flashlight;
- Puzzles: Move the pieces into place with your Light Marker;
- Free Draw: Draw with neon crayons, markers and effects..
Once a child creates his or her work of art, it is possible to email it and share it over social media such as Facebook. Or you can print, frame, and display it on the wall or refrigerator gallery.
To see the Light Marketrin action, watch the video below.
If you’ve grown accustomed to inexpensive iPad gear, this is a bit on the pricey side at $29.99, so kids will probably not be buying it with their lunch money. But it makes a great present.