Friday, January 11, 2008

Software recommendations for kids interested in graphics

An old friend asked me for advice yesterday about graphics/design programs for her 11-year old son. I was pretty stumped! So I posted the question on an animation mailing list I maintain and got a few responses. I'll use this post to collect them for future reference.

Thus far I'm a bit surprised not to have more kid-specific stuff here, but I'll list it all anyway (highlighting where appropriate the super kid-targeted software).

I'm also going to name a few things that I learned about when we recently got our XO Laptop.

Squeak (kid-oriented, free): a media authoring tool that lets you do paint objects, then build simple scripts for them so they move around procedurally.

Cosmic Blobs (kid-oriented, commercial): neat-looking kids modeling package.

Not specifically kid-oriented, but these are free:

Blender: free high-end 3d software
Wings 3D: free high-end polygonal modeling tool
Seashore: free 2D painting/design software

Not specifically kid-oriented, and not free:

Bryce: commercial 3D software
Photoshop: commercial 2D painting software


Anonymous said...

This is just for drawing, but Autodesk SketchBook Pro is a really simple, intuitive, colorful, and I'd say very kid-friendly interface. Not free, though there is a free trial.

Anonymous said...

I think that 11 years old is a grat time for a kid to start getting into Macromedia Flash. There are many websites ( that are based around a HUGE community of 11-16-older year olds. Flash is relatively simple and really fun to start animating with. I get tons of emails from kids who have seen my games somehwere online, and I usually tell them to get a student copy of the program and start tinkering my surprise, lots of them actually have

Anonymous said...


I will surely show my 10 year old brother how to play around with these graphics software. He learns fast and I think he will love making his own animated car races (he is crazy about cars). This blog is great... Thanks!

Chris Perry said...

another possible resource:

Graphics Software for Kids and Young Children

Flyer Boy said...

Thanks, I also have a list of free design apps on my site, you can view it here.