mythical-creatures2.jpgWhen I was a little girl I loved to do arts and crafts and colour, so when I had my boys I crafted and coloured with them too. In fact my youngest at 9 still loves to create, as we call it in our house. When he gets bored I just open up the art bucket, give him a stack of paper and he’s quite content for a good hour. It’s a great way for him to channel his energy and I get some peace and quiet. Doing art and colouring is also a great way for us to spend time together.

When I was asked to review the new Crayola Colour Alive colouring books with app I was pretty excited. Crayola is probably one of the most popular brands out there for arts and crafts so I was curious to see what colour alive would be like. Gone are the days of basic colouring books, now they are interactive. Right now the Crayola Colour Alive books available are Minions, Mythical Creatures, Barbie, Enchanted Forest, Monster High and Skylanders.

Read on to see why I recommend Crayola Colour Alive for your kids.


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The Crayola Colour Alive books on first glance look like many of crayolas colouring books. They have the markers included in a clear plastic case on the front cover, but what makes them different is the app that you can download onto either your android or ios device. This app allows your colouring pages to come to life on your device, so not only can you have hours of colouring fun, you get to play with your creation.


You can start colouring right away, but to make your character come alive you need the app. The Crayola Colour Alive app is easily downloaded from the app store on your smartphone. It’s free and easy to use, and once you have coloured your first page you are ready to play.

You can colour the whole page, I did, but if you just want to play with the character on the app, then you can just colour in the one you want to play with. I love that even if you miss a spot when you colour,  the app will still scan your page, you will just notice the uncoloured areas are white when you play on the app.

Each themed colouring book comes with an exclusive marker that has a special feature when you use it for play in the virtual world on the colour alive app. For example the Barbie books exclusive colour is pink, and when you use the play option the pink colour will twinkle and sparkle on the screen, so if you coloured Barbies pants pink she will have sparkly pants.


Testing it out

I was given the Mythical Creatures book, and my yougest son was pretty excited about it since he has always loved dragons and all things mythical. For me, the Barbie book took center stage because it appealed to the little girl in me.

I can’t even begin to tell you how cool this app is. My youngest sat for hours the first day colouring and playing the app. He coloured his first picture, which was the kraken, then took a picture on the play option on the app.

From here you have 2 options, special effects or 4D. If you used the exclusive marker, which is orange for the mythical creatures book,  and choose the special effects button, then anything you coloured orange will look like it’s on fire. You will also see small coloured squares at the bottom of the screen and when you touch each one a different crazy design will show up on your character such as bananas and spider webs.

Barbie-Optimized.jpgIf you choose the 4D option your character will come alive on your screen and you can save it and name it. After saving your picture you can go back to the home screen and choose My Saved Stuff, then your colouring book that you want to play from. Here you will see all your saved colouring pages and you can touch on the one you want to play with.

As you can see my son got creative and silly with the kraken picture. I have to laugh every time I look at this picture, but really how cool is this?

I used my ragdoll cat Cotton as the background for a few, and made it so he had a knight and a Barbie on his shoulder, but you could easily set up action figures or Barbies and take a photo with a 4D one included. The fun you can have with this is endless.

Each character you colour also has it’s own special feature during play. The kraken will squirt ink and the Barbie I coloured does a twirl on her roller skates. You just have to touch each character to see what it can do.

The play function in “my saved stuff” was by far the best function on the app. We took some great pictures and trust me your kids will be entertained for hours.

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There really isn’t anything not to love about Crayola Colour Alive. We’ve had the books for almost 2 weeks and we’re still playing with it. In fact we’re ready to purchase some of the other books.

My son has my phone full of crazy pictures of mythical creatures, but if it keeps him busy and quiet, then I’m happy.

I also love that Colour Alive is for any age group. My 3 year old niece was over and she had a great time colouring in the Barbie book. and when I showed her how I could make her picture come alive, the look on her face was priceless. At 3, she of course doesn’t colour in the lines, and in fact one of her Barbies she coloured was blue from head to toe, but with this app none of that matters. Her Barbie still became 4D, and yes she was completely blue, but she didn’t care she was just so proud of her accomplishment.

The only small glitch I found in the app is during the play option through “my saved stuff”. Your character will come alive on the screen but it is really difficult to move around with it and have the character still stay on the screen. You can hear the background music playing, so you know it’s still there but it doesn’t always move with the screen. This means that you then have to exit out and restart almost every time you move. My son had no issues with this but it was frustrating for my 3 year old niece who of course wanted to walk around and show everyone her Barbie.

With the cost of the colouring books, and the free app included, this is by far one of the most budget friendly purchases you will make this summer. As a mom that is hugely important, and since it’s summer vacation and “I’m bored” is heard regularly, this is a great purchase to keep your kids entertained.

Here are some of the other Colour Alive Books that are available:

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Lindsey Reed


By Lindsey Reed
, Family and FitnessI am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog I love to communicate with readers of my articles so please leave comments here or contact me on Twitter @LindseyDReed. 

Lindsey Reed
I am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog