Kid Pix. (paint program for children) (Evaluation)
by Beth Ann Murray
Broderbund has come up with another winner in Kid Pix, its well-received kids' paint program available previously for Macintosh computers. The IBM version adds sound to sight, which doubles the kid appeal and makes it fun for adults, too.
The program starts off with a bang--or, rather, a vaudeville-style cymbal shimmy. Every time your child clicks the mouse, there's an audible response, even if it's just an exaggerated buttonclicking sound. The program uses icons that are caricatures of classic paint icons, plus some special effects found only in Kid Pix.
One of my favorite special effects is the eraser. Broderbund didn't stick with boring old white erasers--what kid would want that? For example, take the firecracker eraser, an instant hit with my children. What colors! What noise! you can even "erase" a white screen, and it's just as much fun. There's a countdown eraser and several others, but I won't reveal them and spoil your surprise. There's also an "undo" man who swallows the last thing you did--and he usually has something to say about it!
One feature that's bound to be very popular with kids is the rubber stamp. This is a collection of more than 100 full-color pieces of clip art that kids can select and add to their pictures. They can even edit them with the Options menu. This should be particularly useful for that large body of childre (and adults) who want to make their own art but are really dissatisfied with their own original drawings.
The talking alphabets is fun and educational because your child can see and hear letters. Text can be placed without knowledge of the keyboard; just select the letter, position the pointer, and click.
You must have sound support to get the most from Kid Pix. Broderbund recommends the Sound Source from Walt Disney Software. In fact, Broderbund has included a coupon worth $10 off the Sound Source. Other sound devices are also supported.
This program is so much fun that my four-year-old and I argue over whose turn it is to play. Your kids will never outgrow this paint program. Even if they get too old to enjoy the sound effects, the art effects are as sophisticated as anything an adult paint program could provide.