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Want to be a superhero to your grandkids? Become the grandparent who leads the way when it comes to finding great applications for your grandchildren’s iPads. Kids love to learn ways to create their own stories, comic books and animated short features. The following apps lead children to create their own masterpieces. These sites have been screened for appropriate content and are age-appropriate. Take a look:

  1. Superhero Comic Book Maker

This app is for children five and older. Kids can create their own comic book stories by selecting from background scenes, over 170 animated stickers and characters ranging from dinosaurs, to ninjas, fuzzy monsters and various superheroes. Simple click and drag motions are all that is required. Children can record their voices and then move the character’s mouths as they speak.

  1. Toontastic

Toontastic is a great app for children six and older. Children can create cartoons with a musical score. They’ll use animation, spoken words and music to create a story setting, characters and even the mood of the story. The finished product is played back like a real animated film. This is a great tool for understanding the basics of story.

  1. Easy Studio—Intro to Animation

Easy Studio is just right for kids eight and older. For children wanting to experiment with animation, they can follow the tutorials to create moving scenes with colorful images. There is the capability of adding a soundtrack and many languages are available including Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. Kids can create their own animated videos.

  1. Animation and Drawing by Do Ink

This app is meant for children aged ten and older. It begins with all the basics of animation for beginners, but progresses to the use of powerful tools for more advanced projects. There is a database of ready-made drawings plus the tools to draw original pieces as skills are gained. Work can be stored in dropbox or saved to the camera roll to share with others.

  1. Pixton

Pixton is touted as “The world’s best way to make comics.” It is designed for use by kids thirteen years of age and older. Pixton contains a wonderful palette of tools to create and share original comics. Be sure to select Pixton for fun (not business) and then encourage kids to go through the tutorials before striking out on their own to create amazing animated comics.

Be aware that there are many applications available for download on today’s smart phones, ipads and ipods. It’s a wise grandparent who takes the time to search the web and check for appropriate material in terms of language, sexual content, violence and overall appropriateness of content. Most of these apps have been rated by outside agencies to give adults the necessary information to make good decisions before downloading.