Developed by Crayola and Griffin Technology, the Trace & Draw is a must for anyone with an iPad 2 and a preschooler. Combined with a free app, it turns your tablet into a portable easel. It's a perfect way to occupy youngsters on a stormy day or while waiting for the server to bring the kids' meal.
After applying a static screen protector to your tablet, you clip a green plastic case onto the iPad 2. The sleeve gives kids something to grip onto, has two small compartments for storing felt pens and crayons and holds paper in place. Fifty sheets of tracing paper are included, but you can use any standard letter-sized paper, too.
The Trace & Draw app has over 100 different pictures for kids to trace and colour, right on the surface of the iPad 2. There's also a number of animations in which the drawing of more complicated pictures – a mermaid, for example, or a monkey – are presented step-by-step, seeming almost like drawing training. Other activities include connect-the-dots and a puzzle mode which has kids building a picture by drawing small sections at a time.
Of course, you can trace anything that appears on the screen, so don't feel limited to the standard colouring-book fare provided by the app. Warhol, Rothko and Merimekko images are readily available online, and could be just the kind of inspiration your child needs to start building out that portfolio.
Crayola Trace & Draw ($39.95; available at the online Apple Store)