Those brightly colored miniature pairs of scissors, the kind you used when you were a kid, can coexist nicely with mice and keyboards in the Computer Age. In its new creativity kit, KidCuts, Brøderbund pairs them with software to give kids the tools they need to create paper dolls, masks, hats, cards, puzzles, puppets, and animal cutouts.
KidCuts puts a party on the keyboard. Kids use many of the same tools that delight them in Brøderbund's blockbuster drawing program, KidPix, to color in ready-made forms of catface masks, princess paper dolls, monster puppets, and a host of imaginative characters, cards, and party favors. Just as in KidPix, they'll find the familiar Undo Guy, paint can, rubber stamps of funny creatures and facial expressions, wacky brushes and pencils that spatter and drip, crazy erasures, and odd little sound effects that accompany every dot, line, splotch, or smudge they make onscreen. And there's a new tool, the magic wand, that does different things depending on the project they're working on. The program comes with real plastic scissors to cut out creations.
Children work from a main menu, or Project Picker, where they choose what they'll create. With every selection, submenus pop up and present them with different options. If they choose puppets, for instance, the submenu asks if they want to create a clown, baby, vampire, or robot.
The printouts also present surprises. If they print a cat mask, for instance, the program prints a mask surrounded by drawings of claws and a mouse ring that the kids can wear as part of the disguise. And there are clever little notes on the printouts, like “Try Kitty Cat press-on nails! Kitty claws to tape on your paws!” The manual offers tips on how to milk the most fun from the activities. KidCuts provides an excellent blend of computer- and paper-based creativity.
Circle Reader Service Number 438