Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tux Paint for kids to learn computer skills

Ok, if you're going to encourage artistic abilities in children, take them to a forest or a beach, then give them paint, or anything real to work with. They don't need a computer for that. But Tux Paint is awesome for teaching them to use a computer.

Tux Paint is a free program made for kids by programmers who donated their time ("open source"). Apparently the penguin is a Linux symbol (Linux is an alternative operating system to Windows). It is full of cool effects and paint-brushes packaged for use by children. Although children definitely can create art with it, it's a great teacher for using computers. It's very rewarding to use that mouse, as when you do there are sound effects, and really cool things happen visually. Also, when you use Tux Paint Stamps (a separate download), the name of the animal of often stated, or the sound they make.

There are Earths, Moons, bubbles, bricks, trains, tracks, trees, foliage brushes, colours, triangles, flowers, cats that run if you happen to drag the mouse instead of click. The first image above was done by my five-year old daughter Troy, independently, as her little 3-year old brother watched with joy. The one below he did by himself, he just loves to use the tools and is far less representational than his big sister. But he becomes fully absorbed, and wants to "paint" all the time now. Better than watching TV!

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