My sister makes this little laugh/cry sound every time her first grader brings her another one of his books. It’s so awesome that he loves to write stories, and yet the amount of paper he goes through each week makes her consider planting a new tree for every book he “publishes.” Now I’ve found an amazing new app for the iPad that we all love, because it allows our kids to author and illustrate as many books as they want, without using up all of my printer paper during the creative process.

The new-to-me Scribble Press app for the iPad is like having an endless supply of art supplies and paper in front of kids who love to create stories. Need some prompts? Grab one of their “fill in the blank” story templates and try to avoid being critical if every word they use is a potty word. Or are those just my kids?

My younger kids, who get tired of handwriting all the time, they love being able to type in their stories. For really young children, I’d have fun writing stories for them and letting them illustrate the pages.There is also an area for single-“page” drawings if your kids would rather make a picture and not commit to an entire book.

My tween loves the variety of story prompts from My Babysitter is a Zombie to My Brother is an Alien, though she also enjoyed making up her own. As a homeschooler, I can see this app as a great add-on to almost any of her subjects, from illustrating and defining parts of a cell, to penning short biographies of historical figures. Or, just let her write creatively and see what develops.

Once a masterpiece is finished, it goes onto your own “bookshelf” but it doesn’t have to sit there in obscurity. It can be shared via email or social media, though I’m glad I get to control that aspect so that The Poop Story doesn’t end up on my Facebook page. And for under $10 for a standard-size book, you can make a hard copy of your child’s story–perfect for hard-to-buy-for grandparents.

Oh, and did I mention that this app, with its story prompts, hundreds of markers, stamps, and endless story possibilities, is free? And, no, you won’t get pop ups urging you to “upgrade for only $1.99!” or ads scrolling along the bottom.

For my sister, whose son is probably writing story #2,355 at this moment, you are welcome.

Download the Scribble Press app for the iPad at iTunes.  UPDATE: The price of this app has changed to $2.99 since we featured it.