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Interactive Coloring & Virtual Painting Activities for Older Kids

by Tara West

The Internet puts most of the world at your fingertips, providing a creative outlet for older kids. There are a variety of interactive coloring and virtual painting programs available that will keep kids busy and engaged. These programs range from simple drawing and sketching tools to professional-grade graphic design programs. Children with a love for art can enjoy the merging of technology with traditional art forms.

Basic Coloring and Painting

For older kids and teens who love to doodle, there are a variety of basic coloring and painting tools available online. Simple online programs such as art.com and Tate Kids' Tate Paint and Colour Colour provide kids with a blank canvas and a variety of painting tools. Kids can choose between a variety of different brushes and paint colors to create a truly custom masterpiece. These programs replicate real-world paintings without any of the mess. Kids can save their works of art or even print and frame.

Graphic Design

Graphic art provides older kids and teens with the ability to create unique designs that are simply not possible on canvas, possibly leading to a career later on. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 279,200 graphic design professionals in 2010 with a steady increase of 13 percent expected for the next 10 years. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW are used throughout the industry and can be purchased for home use.

Abstract Art

If your child prefers abstract or modern art to traditional drawing or painting, try sites like Jackson Pollock Online, which gives kids the opportunity to create their own abstract Pollock piece online. Pollock is known for his unique form of painting called drip painting. Bomomo allows you to create abstract pieces of art by coloring with mini floating orbs. The orbs float around the screen and place color on the page when you hold down the mouse. You can change the sweeping patterns of the orbs to create a truly unique piece of art work. Picasso Head allows kids to create their own Picasso-style portrait, placing various shapes together to form their very own work of art.

Smartphone Applications

Touchscreen smartphones and tablets have brought art to a whole new level. There are a variety of apps that provide a canvas for children to create art. Adobe Ideas allows you to integrate your Adobe Illustrator files straight to your tablet. With a variety of drawing options and tools, you can create just about anything on Adobe Ideas. Bamboo Paper allows your child to sketch on the go. You can simply use the touchscreen and a stylus to create your drawings and then save them in your virtual notebook. Drawing Pad -- known as the "mobile art studio," allows you to choose the type of paper you prefer and the type of tools you would like to draw with such as crayons, pens, pencils, markers, paint and a variety of brushes.

About the Author

Tara West graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in business administration and human resources. West specializes in parenting, green living and career development as a regular contributor at SocialMoms.com. She has been featured on a variety of websites including a childhood favorite, Reading Rainbow.

Photo Credits

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