One of these designed by a 5-year-old The other by 35-year old.

This free open source piece of software does wonders for teaching your child to explore imagination while learning to use a computer. But it’s not just for the two-year old set.

I first heard about Tux Paint — a silly, fun little program — from Wired’s Geekdad blog a few months ago. We downloaded it immediately.

Yes, it’s great for kids.

Cute little penguin mascot. Lots of silly noises. Great features that are all easy enough for even a two year old to use.

The Tux Paint penguin

I suppose they say it’s for children because aside from make stuff, you don’t really do anything with it. Although, as someone who regularly uses and teaches Photoshop and other design and photo-editing software, the logic process used to navigate this program sets the stage for using the more heavy duty photo editing programs.

And it’s fun.

I worked with it a bit so I could teach Lila to use it. Next thing you know, she’s sitting next to me as I’m rubber stamping cherries and distorting them with the bubble filter — known in TuxPaintLand as magic – while she’s begging “Mama, I think it’s my turn now. Can I have a turn?”

What’ll you make when it’s yours?

COMMUNITY CONNECTION:

You’ve tried Tux Paint and want to move onto more advanced design software? Check out our Brave New Traveler review of free photo editing software found on the internet.

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