Thursday, March 27, 2014

Creative Computer Projects for Kids

Yes, my kids LOVE  Poptropica, and all those "other" kids games and sites out there.  I don't mind them playing those games in moderation, but would prefer to have them use the computer in a little more "educational" way.  I've stumbled on a few "creative" computer projects that allow my children to have fun, as well as use their imaginations and creativity. Here are just a few geared towards ages 8 and up that we like:

1. Tagxedo {} or Wordle {}~ Both of these websites allow you to create super cute word art with your own words or websites. I have my children make these using their spelling words, but they usually go back and spend a significant amount of time creating their own word art masterpieces using their likes, friends names or in the case of my 13 year old, One Direction Songs.  

2. PicMonkey {}~ I absolutely LOVE this online photo editing site.    My 9 year old was complaining about his computer lesson one day. I had just finished making a Halloween photo, so I mentioned to him that he too could create a zombie or a vampire. After showing him around a few minutes, he was hooked.  Below is his creation. If you want to learn how to use Picmonkey, there are so many tutorials out there!  {HERE} is a list of a few.

3. Picasa Picture Collages ~ I love to scrapbook, but I'm HORRIBLE at making time for it.  Now that we have digital photos, I have hundreds of thousands of photos just waiting for something to be done with them. My children were in the same boat until I showed them Picasa Picture Collages.  Google Picasa is a free download and organizes your photos.  To create a collage just pin the photos you want in the tray and click on create and collage. My children can now make their own easy scrapbooks using this great tool.  Now at least their personal photos are organized and ready to print. 

4. Windows Movie Maker ~ If you have Windows, you more than likely have Movie Maker. Honestly, I have no idea how to use it.  My daughter discovered it and my oldest three  (9, 11 and 13) have gotten pretty good at it.  My boys use it mainly to create Lego stop start animations. They take pictures of their Lego creations and move them a little bit with each photo. Afterwards, they put all the photos in Movie Maker to create a movie. My daughter uses it to create and edit home movies, photo movies, and music videos. {HERE} is her recent creation.... which by the way, would be a great project.  Create a song from a book like the artist did in What Does the Fox Say?

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