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NGAkids Art Zone for iPad

Link to NGAkids Art Zone for iPad


The NGAkids Art Zone app contains eight interactive activities inspired by works in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, plus a sketchbook for freehand drawing and a personal exhibition space where users can save and display art created with the program. The child-friendly interface, easy-to-use tools, and the overarching emphasis on discovery, careful looking, and artistic self-expression make the NGAkids app educational and fun for the whole family.

Each activity offers various levels of complexity. The app is suitable for all age groups.
It is optimized for ages 9 through 11, but younger children, as well as teens and adults, will find the program enjoyable and artistically motivating.

NGAkids activities are designed for children to use—unassisted—in a recreational, nonacademic context. They are not art lessons, although our programs are extremely popular in schools and are often used as an adjunct to the traditional curriculum. The low-key activities preserve a sense of quiet exploration that encourages artistic expression and creativity. This absorbing, self-directed interaction has a long-term impact. The fact that children are encouraged to figure out how things work and to mentor each other adds a unique dimension to the experience, one that sparks a personal connection to art that often lasts a lifetime. 

Slideshow of screenshots made with the app

Special Features

The NGAkids app provides an immersive experience as children visit a virtual art museum and explore a variety of works spanning more than 300 years of art history. High-resolution graphics, careful attention to detail, and exposure to a variety of subjects, painting styles, and techniques help convey an authentic understanding of the artistic process and reinforce their familiarity with the fundamental elements of art. Although not games in the traditional sense, unexpected animation and audio features enliven the programs and help make learning fun.

There are 10 sections to explore: ?

? Portrait
? Landscape
? Seascape
? Still Life
? Action Painting
? Exploring Color
? Color Field
? Collage
? Sketchbook
? My Art Gallery 

Works of art by a wide range of artists—including Edward Hicks, Fitz Henry Lane, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, and Robert Rauschenberg, along with several anonymous American naive painters—serve as inspirational models.  

The National Gallery of Art is committed to producing quality children’s programming that provides informative, entertaining, and age-appropriate content for kids of all ages. We hope you and your children enjoy the NGAkids app, and we invite you to plan an in-person visit to the Gallery, where many of the original works of art that inspired this program are on display. 

If you share artistic creations made with our app on social media, please be sure to include the hashtag #ngakids. We look forward to seeing what you make!

The NGAkids Art Zone app was developed by Al Jarnow of Protozone, Inc., in collaboration with the Education Division of the National Gallery of Art and coded for iOS by App Partner, LLC.

NGAkids is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.


Title: NGAkids Art Zone
Seller: National Gallery of Art, Washington  
Category: Education, Entertainment
Updated: May, 2018
Version: 1.0.7
Size:  111 MB
Compatibility: Compatible with iPad. Optimized for iOS 11.
Language: English

The NGAkids app is designed for iPad.
Rating 4+,  Made for Ages 6-8
Privacy policy
Support page
Developer website:
? 2018 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington


Apple, the Apple logo, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


If you don't use an iPad, you can request the program files to download onto your computer (for either PC or Mac) by emailing [email protected].

The Education Division provides free loans to individuals, schools, and organizations. You can borrow teaching packets, films, and more through this form.

Parents and teachers are invited to request NGAkids CDs or other free films and publications. The lending service is free, but you will be responsible for return postage.

The Inside Scoop has been revised and published as a paperback book. This family-oriented art resource introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their work, with corresponding activities and explorations that inspire artistic development, focused looking, and creative writing. Download PDFs from An Eye for Art.

Download or borrow teaching packets, classroom activities, and videos. Find information about guided school tours, learn about outreach programs for local students, or enroll in our teacher workshops or the summer Teacher Institute. 

Resources for Teachers

The Family Programs page includes on-site programs, information on films for children, and resources to enhance your visit.

NGAkids online is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.

NGAkids Art Zone interactives were developed by Al Jarnow of Protozone Inc. in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art.  

If you need some technical advice about how to use our site, visit the NGAkids help page

Use the link below to send us a comment. If you'd like a reply, be sure to ask a grown-up to include his or her email address in the note.


The NGAkids app press release and downloadable press images.

The App programs are also available on CD-ROM for Mac and Windows computers.

A Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award Winner

The NGAkids Art Zone app from the National Gallery of Art introduces children not only to the experience of great artwork, but also to the creative process of producing great artworks. Through the manipulation of paintings spanning hundreds of years and numerous styles of art, children are free to explore the elements that go into a painting. In the classical and impressionist designs, they are free to explore and modify the objects of the paintings, from the sky and the background, through the middle and the foreground, adjusting for perspective and adding and subtracting characters and scenery at will. Some of the characters in the paintings can be animated for an extra laugh. In the strongest part of the app, that of the more modern art styles, the artist can explore color and layering paints, producing works that are similar in style to the famous work but ultimately entirely original. All artworks that are produced can be saved to a gallery and shared with friends.

The app also provides background material on all the paintings featured within the NGAkids Art Zone. Players can create a personal avatar (again, using elements of great artwork or even imported images to design an individual that expresses him- or herself) and work freeform in a general painting environment. As we explored the NGAkids Art Zone, we were especially impressed by how much range and depth there was; what seemed initially like a gimmick (modifying famous paintings with other objects and making them dance) quickly gave way to real art exploration and many hours of creative expression.

 –Parents' Choice Foundation, 2015


NGAkids Art Zone is a phenomenal app from the National Gallery of Art to engage children of a broad range of interests and immerse them in some fundamental art techniques. The app includes eight different activities based on paintings from the National Gallery. Students can change backgrounds, add objects to the scenes, and change color palettes to create their own distinct imagery of famous paintings. For those who like dress up, there is a painting where they can change characters’ dresses and hairstyles . Children who like animals will have an activity where they can add animals to the scene, adjust their size, and hear them make noises. Another activity allows a student to add George Washington dancing in a marionette format. There are directions for each activity along with an overview of the painting. Unfortunately, the text is small and specific information about paintings limited. However, this app provides a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy famous works of art and experiment with fundamental elements of art including color, texture, foreground and background effects.


  • The variety of art and activities will make this app appealing to children of a wide variety of interests and abilities.
  • App enables students to experience the effects of artistic techniques and spatial impacts.
  • Students can easily save and share their work.


  • Although most activities are intuitive, the instructions for each activity are written in small font with no voice-over so younger students may need adult support at times.
  • The teaching about fundamentals is experiential rather than explicit. For example, students play with the color wheel but they are not offered a formal explanation.

-- Mindprint Learning, Teachers with Apps, 2015



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