CartoonWith summer and vacations and those long car rides, I figure every good idea for keeping them busy is worth passing along. And if you’ve got an iPad, this is a terrific 99cent app that will keep the kids quiet and entertained for a long while.

They can create and animate their own stories with this Toontastic app, available in the iTunes App store. They choose a scene and their characters, and let their imagination take off.

The iPad records the story as they tell it aloud. They can manipulate (i.e. animate) their characters with their fingers in standard touch-screen fashion. More than one character can be animated simultaneously. Music for their story can also be added- they choose the emotion relevant to their story and the intensity and then the appropriate music.

Once complete, the animated story can be saved and then shared through a couple of different venues.

Designed for collaborative play between kids age 5 and up and their parents, Toontastic will also work great in the back seat with kids that are a bit older. I’d suggest playing it with them before you try to use it to keep them busy on a long trip, so they know how to make it work and are comfortable with it.

Activities that support and encourage creativity are the best, especially when they cost less than a buck!

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