For the most part, marketers of kids’ products have yet to discover smart ways to get folks to their site for any reason besides product info. (Seriously, when was the last time you logged onto your kid’s favorite breakfast cereal URL, despite the back panels’ hollow promises of “lots o’ fun for kids!”)
Crayola.com, however, totally gets it right, with a ton of great activities for kids including the very engaging StoryStudio.
Essentially any box of 64 or more crayons comes with a code inside the box, which allows you full access to the Crayola StoryStudio. Once there, upload a picture of your kid and the decent face recognition software turns it into a custom black-and-white coloring page.
I found that whether the illustration looks like your kid mostly has to do with whether your kid’s hair style is an option. If so, it’s not bad at all; otherwise adjust until it’s better.
Then? Turn your little cartoon Kaia or Braden into your own custom coloring book.
It’s a genius birthday party idea–make your own kid the star of his or her own dragon adventure, sports story, or rock star fantasy; print out a whole bunch, and let the other kids go to town. Or if you’re really cool, use your webcam to take a picture of each kid at the party, and print out a bunch as an activity and fun parting gift. (Although I must say the webcam option wasn’t working for me–Mac compatibility issue maybe?)
Don’t worry about the need to register first; you can opt out of the monthly newsletter, and seriously, the features you get are totally worth it. At least if your kid likes to color. And likes stories about himself. Which, I’d imagine, would be a yes.