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Utilizing the PC for summertime projects for kids

By Jean Parks 

Summer is right around the corner and having a game plan of safe, educational and fun activities can keep boredom away and foster your child’s inner creativity. A good place to start is right there at home with the family PC. There are literally thousands of web sites and online tools that can help preserve, reinforce and expand upon the skills your child gained during the previous school year – and make sure he is sharp and ready to go when September finally comes around!

Here are a few suggestions on how to turn your PC into a summer exploration station. The activities are all free and are just a sampling of the vast summertime learning options that are available for your child.

Origami for kids
Origami-Instructions.com gives a history of the ancient art of paper folding and offers a nice variety of very cool, easy to follow instructions for both kids and adults.

The International Children's Digital Library
The International Children's Digital Library has a goal to collect at least 10,000 books in 100 or more languages, as they seek to promote knowledge and cultural understanding to children on a global level. Kids are partners here, helping the library develop a useful database that supports kids around the world in searching, reading and sharing digital content.

Windows Live Essentials
Windows Live Essentials is a powerful set of free software tools that will allow your child to experiment with photo editing, slide show creation, and movie making. Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Windows Live Writer are amazingly simple, easy to use programs that can have your child creating family blogs, vacation videos and more!

Learn a foreign language
Vistawide provides listings of free foreign language software and CD's that cost under $10. The site also features resources and recommendations for more advanced in-depth programs.

Arthur the Brain
A PBS Kids presentation, Arthur provides "social and emotional learning" for kids via games, video and clubs. Comic Creator, Marthur Video Mashup, and Baby Kate stickers will provide hours of safe learning fun for younger children.

Learn to program software
A nice list of resources for the older child who's interested in learning how to write computer software and video games.

Animation and movie making
Nicholas Academy provides a nice list of programs to start children ages six and older exploring the creative world of animation and film making. Your child can learn all about the film making process, write scripts, create story boards, direct films, and much more.

This is just a small sampling of the amazing variety of resources that are free and easily accessible through your family PC. You can sit together with your child and plan out a  summer program that will be sure to cure those summertime boredom blues!

Creating movies, exploring the worlds of animation, photo editing and computer programming requires a powerful, multimedia PC. If you are considering a new computer for your family, I suggest you take a look at the ASUS Essentio Desktop PC  or the sleek, space saving ASUS All In One PC.   Both systems are Intel powered, robust, energy efficient, and affordable.

Curious about ASUS Computers? Learn more about the wonderful world of ASUS and enter to win a fabulous family command center of your own by checking out the ASUS North America Facebook Page.

Jean Parks, aka Geekbabe, is a contributing editor for The Online Mom. Follow Jean on Twitter.

Comment by Kelly Stilwell, posted 6/8/2012, 4:55 PM:

Great information for my 15 year old who wants to be an animator! Thanks!
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