Having seen plenty of smart nephews and nieces grow up, I never underestimate the intelligence of toddlers, however young they might be. They learn quickly, just by watching, listening and imitating. Imagine yourself trying to learn a foreign language just by hearing people talk. Kids do that all the time and with little effort. Today’s kids have to absorb in a vast amount of information and inputs from their surroundings, than kids had to a few decades ago. They are introduced to computers and gadgets from a young age, and they learn fast by watching elders use these devices. It reminds me of the video of a 2-year old using the iPad for the first time.
Controlling the mouse however, requires a little more practice. Most kids have difficulty clicking the button at the right time and right place. Clicking and dragging at the same time requires even more control than 2-year olds have. Besides, the mouse is too big for their tiny hands.
These problems are addressed by a simple paint program called SarynPaint, written for a young child named Saryn who was two years old at the time. The program is setup to paint simply by moving the mouse – no clicking is necessary. You can select colors and paintbrush shapes by moving the mouse over the panels on the screen edges. Yes, it leaves a big fat trail wherever it goes, but your kid is hardly going to produce a Dali. The bright coloured trails are enough to cheer him up.
The program is simple to use. Just download the JAR file and double click on it to run. JAR is an archive file format for the Java platform. If you have the Java Runtimes installed, JAR will behave like an executable file.
The program opens full screen with simple instructions on how to use. Any movement of the mouse will draw on the canvas. Double clicking on the canvas clears the screen of the previous sketch. Double clicking on the Color bar on the left sets the background color. To select a brush you simply move the mouse over it. You do the same when selecting color.
There are different brush shapes like triangle, square, hexagon, pentagon, kitty, fishy, and doggy. A sweet young voice speaks out each brush name as you move your mouse over it. It also speaks out the names of color when you select a color for the brush. It will greet you when you open the program and bid you goodbye when you exit by pressing the Esc key.
It’s so cute, your kids will love it. SarynPaint is cross-platform and hence runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Looking for more software for kids? Checkout these:
- Learn to make attractive paper models with Paper Folding 3D
- Qimo - Linux for kids
- OpenOffice4Kids – Kids friendly Office suite
- KidRocket - Web browser and desktop protection for kids
- Printable, foldable paper toys from Toy-A-Day
- Microsoft launches Kid-Safe Internet Explorer 8
Trying to escape kids? There are apps for that too.
- Lock your keyboard and mouse with Kid-Key-Lock
- Temporarily lock optical drives with the CD/DVD Drive Locker
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto