Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Playing with Art at CBeebies

This is such fun for little kids, and those who are young at heart!

CBeebies is part of the BBC website, and full of great learning activities for kids. You can see all of them in an a-z list, check out the games it considers its top picks, or choose by theme. I chose to look only at Art games today. 

One of my favourites is Get Squiggling Magic Paintbox. It reminds me of KidPix in its variety and ease of use. There are lots of lovely things to paint with, stamps galore, your very own coach on the sidelines to encourage you, and pattern makers too. When you're done, you can watch a video of how you made the picture, or print it out. If children choose picture stories instead, they can interact with a story by decorating part of it.

Another is Butterfly Gallery. It has lovely animation and music to accompany your designing. Once children choose a butterfly shape, they are presented with half of it to decorate, because the symmetrical magic makes the other side work too. They can choose from stampers, markers and paint. Once done, their butterfly is cut out and liberated to fly around the garden, while Charlie and Lola fly by on a bee. Beautiful!

Doodle Maker is a place to draw, add stamps and play with colour. Like the others, it's simple to use, so long as kids have mouse skills. 

Mister Maker Magic Paintbox offers drawing, and adds more unusual techniques, like drawing with foil, buttons and pasta. There's a chalky thing that has a little hand which lets you push and pull the shape you drew. You can paint with glue then sprinkle glitter, add paddlepop sticks, leaves, crumpled paper, and let yourself go wild with colour and pattern. Mister Maker's compliments on my work became wearing, so I muted him and we got along so much better.

Nothing will ever replace the squish and swirl of real paint and glue, but a digital version like what CBeebies offer is perfect for those times when you don't have the space or tools to hand, but your youngster wants to make some art. If kids enjoy books or shows like the Charlie and Lola series, or In the Night Garden, these activities are a great way to help them make creative connections with stories they love. 


  1. Donna Perugini12 August, 2010

    I had a lot of fun with the butterfly project. And of course I loved the fact it had butterflies! Thanks for finding the site. It's very informative and useful to parents. I like the idea of it being set up for special needs children also.

    You're so good at finding these awesome sites, Susan!

  2. Kelly Be A Fun Mum12 August, 2010

    Looks awesome!

  3. Green Mama12 August, 2010

    No nothing compares to real paint... and nothing compares to the feral mood I find myself in when scraping said paint from every surface in the house! And we're careful! Great post Susan, Lauren Child is very popular in this house but I've never thought to go digital with activities. Thank you.

  4. Book Chook12 August, 2010

    Donna, do you think it might just be because I love to play??? Huh? I am so glad you loved the butterflies - I felt just like a little kid when mine flapped its wings and flew away!

  5. Book Chook12 August, 2010

    The whole site is awesome, Kelly. I'll have a post about some of the other categories soon.

  6. Book Chook12 August, 2010

    LOL@GreenMama! Too true, alas. And then you have kids like mine who suddenly began to draw on furniture well after the toddler stage. Interior decorator in the making? He has his mother's artistic ability too alas. I discovered green texta doesn't come off red cedar that day!

  7. My kindergarten students just love this site. They have such fun engaging activities for the kids and all of them help kid develop their fine motor mouse manipulation skills.

  8. Book Chook13 August, 2010

    That's an excellent point, Kelly. Thanks!


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