In step with the ongoing trend of mixing physical and digital play, new Toronto, Canada-based children’s entertainment company Playsmart Labs has launched Creativas Design Studio, an app that integrates kids’ offline arts & crafts creations into animated interactive appisodes.
Currently available for free on iOS and Android, Creativas Design Studio immerses tween users into the story of The Creativas, a group of creative, aspirational high school students who are mysteriously invited to join a secret design academy known as the Harry Potter of art schools.
Featuring 14 animated appisodes, the portal lets kids join the secret society, share artwork and compete in design challenges.
Each level of the app features video tutorials instructing kids to print paper templates for creating artwork offline using markers, pencil crayons or paint. Then, using the camera on their device, kids can see their real-life artwork come alive in the game.
Playsmart Labs plans to expand the Creativas brand into a franchise and is currently developing ways to grow the IP with broadcast and licensing partners.
The arts & crafts sector is alive and well in the children’s space. For one, a 2014 Evolution of Play report from market research firm The NPD Group found that arts & crafts and traditional games topped the list of play products purchased in the past 12 months, and that parents of kids ages two to 12 were more likely to have purchased arts & crafts kits or traditional games – even over apps or electronics.