Terry Doherty from Scrub-a-Dub Tub is always on the lookout for sites that contribute in some way to children's literacy. (Terry and I are part of a committee working toward another Blog Literacy Tour, scheduled for March 2010, and Terry is building a huge database of literacy links which will be of great benefit to parents.)
At her blog today, Terry mentioned Scrap Coloring, and of course I had to take a look. I couldn't resist a little play, and coloured-in the chameleon template you see at left.
The site works well (best in Firefox). Basically, once you've found and clicked on an image, you chose from a palette of designs and colours, click on part of your template, and the site fills it in. I loved the variety, vivid colours and patterns, and ease of use. You can save your creation (make sure you have pop-ups enabled - I discovered that after about five minutes of hurling insults!) as a png file, or you can print out a blank template and colour with crayons.
The menu bar at the top guides you to themes like Fairy Tales and Vehicles, great to print out for one of those times when kids want to colour.
But what has all this fun and frivvle got to do with literacy? Personally, I think writing and images go together like Desi and Lucy, but if you want something less tenuous, try the First Name Coloring page. This enables you to input text on two lines, readily lending itself to use in greeting cards or posters. I think kids will enjoy choosing a template, colouring it, and then maybe writing a story or a description snippet to go with it. I know I did!
Other accessible visual editors and art creation sites I've posted about recently are Crayola's drawing tablet, Spell with Flickr, and Curious Corner, or you might like to go one step further and make a whole cartoon with Creaza's Cartoonist.