National Gallery of Art
Each activity offers various levels of complexity. The app is suitable for all age groups.
It is optimized for ages 9 through 11, but younger children, as well as teens and adults, will find the program enjoyable and artistically motivating.
NGAkids activities are designed for children to use—unassisted—in a recreational, nonacademic context. They are not art lessons, although our programs are extremely popular in schools and are often used as an adjunct to the traditional curriculum. The low-key activities preserve a sense of quiet exploration that encourages artistic expression and creativity. This absorbing, self-directed interaction has a long-term impact. The fact that children are encouraged to figure out how things work and to mentor each other adds a unique dimension to the experience, one that sparks a personal connection to art that often lasts a lifetime.
Slideshow of screenshots made with the app
The NGAkids app provides an immersive experience as children visit a virtual art museum and explore a variety of works spanning more than 300 years of art history. High-resolution graphics, careful attention to detail, and exposure to a variety of subjects, painting styles, and techniques help convey an authentic understanding of the artistic process and reinforce their familiarity with the fundamental elements of art. Although not games in the traditional sense, unexpected animation and audio features enliven the programs and help make learning fun.
There are 10 sections to explore:
Works of art by a wide range of artists—including Edward Hicks, Fitz Henry Lane, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, and Robert Rauschenberg, along with several anonymous American naive painters—serve as inspirational models.
The National Gallery of Art is committed to producing quality children’s programming that provides informative, entertaining, and age-appropriate content for kids of all ages. We hope you and your children enjoy the NGAkids app, and we invite you to plan an in-person visit to the Gallery, where many of the original works of art that inspired this program are on display.
The NGAkids Art Zone app was developed by Al Jarnow of Protozone, Inc., in collaboration with the Education Division of the National Gallery of Art and coded for iOS by App Partner, LLC.
NGAkids is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.
Title: NGAkids Art Zone
Seller: National Gallery of Art, Washington
Category: Education, Entertainment
Updated: December 20, 2014
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Optimized for iOS 8. Compatible with iPad.
The NGAkids app is designed for iPad.
Rating 4+, Made for Ages 9-11
Developer website: www.nga.gov
© 2014 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington
Apple, the Apple logo, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
If you don’t use an iPad, borrow our new NGAkids App CD, which contains similar programs customized for Macintosh and Windows computers. No Internet connection is required. Visit our Learning Resources portal to register and request a CD. The files can also be downloaded using the links at the right.
SEND US YOUR COMMENTS
Use the link below to send us a comment. If you’d like a reply, be sure to ask a grown-up to include his or her email address in the note.
HELP & TECH SUPPORT
If you need some technical advice about how to use our site, visit the NGAkids help page.
Press Release – NGAkids App
The NGAkids app press release and downloadable press images.
RETURN TO NGAKIDS
Return to the main NGAkids page to select another activity or to send a comment.
NGAkids APP ON CD
DOWNLOAD NGAkids App for Mac and PC
If you would rather download the (approximately 100 MB) application to your desktop computer, use the following links:
A Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award Winner
The NGAkids Art Zone app from the National Gallery of Art introduces children not only to the experience of great artwork, but also to the creative process of producing great artworks. Through the manipulation of paintings spanning hundreds of years and numerous styles of art, children are free to explore the elements that go into a painting. In the classical and impressionist designs, they are free to explore and modify the objects of the paintings, from the sky and the background, through the middle and the foreground, adjusting for perspective and adding and subtracting characters and scenery at will. Some of the characters in the paintings can be animated for an extra laugh. In the strongest part of the app, that of the more modern art styles, the artist can explore color and layering paints, producing works that are similar in style to the famous work but ultimately entirely original. All artworks that are produced can be saved to a gallery and shared with friends.
The app also provides background material on all the paintings featured within the NGAkids Art Zone. Players can create a personal avatar (again, using elements of great artwork or even imported images to design an individual that expresses him- or herself) and work freeform in a general painting environment. As we explored the NGAkids Art Zone, we were especially impressed by how much range and depth there was; what seemed initially like a gimmick (modifying famous paintings with other objects and making them dance) quickly gave way to real art exploration and many hours of creative expression.
–Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2015
NGAkids Art Zone is a phenomenal app from the National Gallery of Art to engage children of a broad range of interests and immerse them in some fundamental art techniques. The app includes eight different activities based on paintings from the National Gallery. Students can change backgrounds, add objects to the scenes, and change color palettes to create their own distinct imagery of famous paintings. For those who like dress up, there is a painting where they can change characters’ dresses and hairstyles . Children who like animals will have an activity where they can add animals to the scene, adjust their size, and hear them make noises. Another activity allows a student to add George Washington dancing in a marionette format. There are directions for each activity along with an overview of the painting. Unfortunately, the text is small and specific information about paintings limited. However, this app provides a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy famous works of art and experiment with fundamental elements of art including color, texture, foreground and background effects.
- The variety of art and activities will make this app appealing to children of a wide variety of interests and abilities.
- App enables students to experience the effects of artistic techniques and spatial impacts.
- Students can easily save and share their work.
- Although most activities are intuitive, the instructions for each activity are written in small font with no voice-over so younger students may need adult support at times.
- The teaching about fundamentals is experiential rather than explicit. For example, students play with the color wheel but they are not offered a formal explanation.
— Mindprint Learning, Teachers with Apps, 2015