Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My favorite software for creative kids

For several years, my job involved developing technology based curriculum for elementary age kids. Every month, I received samples of the latest educational software, and an assignment to develop a project based activity that incorporated this software and one other. Without a doubt, my favorite one other, in fact my favorite software to work with, was Kid Pix Studio.

Later, I often used this simple, effective and wonderfully designed software to introduce teachers and tech-nervous adults to the mysteries of creating lines, shapes and colors on their computers; I also used it to introduce basic word processing and demonstrated how their creations could be turned into lively presentations using tools and producing results that rival far more sophisticated programs - all in one easy to understand package.

So, when parents ask me to recommend something that their creative kids will enjoy, Kid Pix is my go-to suggestion. It is great software for drawing, painting and learning the difference between the two - both on paper and on the computer screen. It is also an ideal tool for building word processing skills. Combining images and text equals graphic design - and the possibilities are unlimited (just watch your kids.)

What I like best is that by playing and creating, kids learn skills that will serve them for all their computing life (or until computers become obsolete - which, I admit, is entirely possible.)

I could go on an on, but teachers and other users around the country have discovered this versatile tool and have posted many great ideas they use to meet their classroom content standards and create beautiful works of art and information. If you are looking for ideas for things to do with Kid Pix - simply Google the words and see what appears.

Here's information about the latest version.

Kid Pix
Deluxe 4
Home Edition has all the creative functionality one would expect, from selecting from an array of art mediums (paint, watercolor, airbrush, pencil, crayon, marker, chalk, etc.) to using various finishing techniques (stickers, stamps, typeface, etc.).

In addition, the software can add special effects (animate, smudge, smear, warp twist, etc.) for a wacky look, suggest ideas and backgrounds to help get creative juices flowing, and import digital photos to personalize. For more than 10 years, Kid Pix has been the graphics software of choice for educators, parents, and, most importantly, kids!

By the way, if you already have a version, free updates are available online.

How do you use KidPix? Do you have another favorite software that you would recommend for creative kids? Use the comment box below to share your thoughts. Thanks.