I have a 3-year old daughter who is unusually bright, curious and independent (I may be a little biased). I often come into my office and find her trying to do things on my computer just like Daddy does. Unfortunately, I end up having to close about a dozen applications that she has launched in her search for her “stories” that she likes so much. I began to search for something she can do on the computer without risk of destroying Daddy’s files while helping her mind to grow. Then I came across a piece of software called Tux Paint. It is this great, free application that is designed for children 3-years old and up. It is a illustration program that gives your child a blank canvas to work on. There are tons of cool brushes, erasers and other tools that are very intuitive to use. I only had to show my little one a few of the tools and she was off and drawing. As she uses each tool, there is an audible response by the program, helping to reinforce the activity. Her favorite is the eraser, which barks when she uses it.
Tux Paint is a free download and runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. Give it a try — your kids will thank you.