Toontastic Review: Worth a closer look

There is no shortage of iPad apps and games to help young learners practice their skills in literacy and numeracy.  However, the iPad presents the opportunity for young learners to create and apply new learning using the tablet’s cameras, microphone and touch screen.

Toontastic allows students to manipulate characters as they provide voice and narration for the story.  Toontastic makes use of standard story templates that help guide students through the basic elements of plot (story arc) as they create their animated story.  The free version offers access to a small selection of backdrops and characters as well as the option for students to create their own background using the in-app painting program.  The finished product can be viewed within the app but if you are looking to export the finished product to the camera roll, you will have to opt for the paid version of Toontasic (Toontastic: School Edition).


  • the app walks students through the creative process with a plot/story arc template
  • instructions are accompanied with voice-over instructions
  • large buttons and symbols for easy touch navigation
  • allows students to go back and edit the project after they have viewed it


  • unable to export finished product to the camera roll with the free version
  • access to the camera roll and camera to create custom backgrounds is available in the paid version (Toontastic: School Edition)
  • users who opt to use the free version will have to endure the persistent reminders to purchase additional content
  • the premium upgrade is pricey at $9.99

The free version of Toontastic offers enough content and functionality to get a good sense of what this app can offer.  In the end it serves as a great opportunity to test drive the app and have students try to create a story using the iPad’s touch screen and microphone.  Teachers can then evaluate how the app can best support learning in their respective classrooms and decide for themselves if the School Edition is indeed worth the additional cost.

– Kenji Takahashi

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