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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?


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.



About The Author

Leigh Shulman

Leigh Shulman is a writer, photographer and mom living in Salta, Argentina. There, she runs Cloudhead Art, an art & education group that creates collaborative art using social media to connect people and resources. You can read about her travels on her blog The Future Is Red

  • Abbie

    So much stuff we find on the internet has no real practical purpose, that’s what keeps Americans busy :)

  • Leigh Shulman

    You know, Abbie. I was thinking the same thing. From videos of bananas singing about peanut butter and jelly to watching someone’s beard grow (admittedly a very cool video) to reading tweets about Iran.

    Some useful. Some not. Why not this?

  • Bill Kendrick

    Glad you guys liked it! It’s a pleasure making it. Thanks for helping spread the word!
    -bill! (lead developer)

    • Leigh Shulman

      Thanks for checking in on Matador, Bill. Yes, I love this program. Hope we’ll be seeing more too.

  • KeralaClick

    Nice. I Like this blog, added to my google reader. will follow it regularly. keep posting.

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