You might be surprised to discover that my MOST frequently asked question via Instagram DMs is, “What are the best tools for my creative tween/teen?” –– usually in reference to shopping for bar/bat mitzvah gifts.
If you don’t have a kid, read on, because you might want to pursue honing creative skills yourself!
I’m a major fan of the iPad Pro and all of the accessories. Why? Because it’s slim, portable, and great for sketching, writing, mood-boarding, and more. Btw, I found this great deal on a refurbished model with decent reviews for you.
If you’re concerned about your child having internet access, you don’t necessarily need WiFi connected. You’ll have to connect to download apps, but once an app like Procreate is installed, you don’t need WiFi to enjoy it.
Procreate is getting a lot of hype for two reasons: 1. There’s a one-time fee of only $10 and you get to use the app forever. (As opposed to Adobe that charges a monthly subscription.) 2. It’s loaded with brushes and textures to create amazing works of digital art. You can also purchase additional brush sets online. Whether you love graphic design or painting, the app is so versatile in its art features.
You’ll need the Apple Pencil, 2nd generation to draw on Procreate. What’s amazing about this product is the range in pressure sensitivity. So if you press hard or gently as you draw, the thickness of your lines vary (on some brushes), just like real ink!
If your child enjoys writing, the iPad can convert to a laptop with this adorable Bluetooth keyboard. I have a similar product, and sometimes snuggle and write in bed when inspiration strikes.
So if you’re looking to help your creative tween enhance his or her skills, I think this is a fantastic way to exercise talent. I wish I had the iPad Pro at that age.
I actually purchased my very first Wacom tablet (similar to this one) at age 15 with babysitting money. Unlike the iPad Pro, it didn’t have a direct-to-screen drawing capability and connected to a computer. I had to use the pen on a blank 4×6 plastic tablet while looking up at the computer screen, and it was major hand-eye coordination practice. Don’t feel so bad for me. That practice landed me my first graphic design job at age 16 designing children’s clothing for a summer.
So you never know where digital products will take your child’s talents!