Launchpad Toys creates “digital toys and tools that empower kids (and parents) to create, learn & share their ideas through play”. Their latest creative learning tool is called Toontastic, an app whose design arose from a partnership with Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and Zeum: San Francisco’s Children’s Museum. Off to a good start and it gets better!

In a clean & fun environment, it handholds the user through formal storytelling features (i.e. setting, conflict, character devpt., climax & resolution) and then a crash course in animation. Without cumbersome keyframes, one animates by clicking “Start Animation” and then simply moving and scaling the characters around by hand as if they’re digital Colorforms. The app records all of this motion, with a variety of characters, and also includes simple multi-touch gestures which separates this from other kid-friendly animation apps out there.

After the user records his/her voice-over track for all the characters on the stage (with the built-in mic) and establishes the background music to set the mood, they’re off to post their objet d’art on ToonTube, Launchpad’s Global Storytelling Network for Kids.  Here, kids can also find pride in receiving badges for Top ‘Toons.

Andy, over at Launchpad Toys, told me that they are “avid fans of Blues Clues and Super Why. We’re very excited to bring Angela’s readers’ stories to life (and, ok, their kids’ too)!” That said, the 1st 5 readers to follow @AngelasClues on Twitter & retweet the following will be given a FREE copy of the Toontastic app:

“@AngelasClues: What did you CREATE 2day? Win a FREE Toontastic app! TY @launchpadtoys! “