I am looking for 'kids friendly' graphic program that has quite nice UI, not scary for kids.

They are playing Counter Strike all time. I think that repaint CS models texture can learn them something useful.

4 Answers 4


When I was a kid I used to make maps for my favorite game and I learned to use Photoshop to edit my textures. Now I'm a graphic designer and I have over 10 years Photoshop experience thanks to those early days.

I think when you are young you can learn these things faster. Just point them to some tutorials. If they can play Counter Strike, then they can certainly use Photoshop.

If cost is an issue, give them the GIMP, which is free: http://www.gimp.org/

  • 2
    I would call social services if I ever found a parent forcing their kids to use The GIMP. ;)
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 18, 2011 at 2:34
  • I started on KidPix, by age 5 I was using MS Paint and by 8 I had gotten my hands on Photoshop 4 and never looked back. When Rainbow Six and then Rogue Spear came out I was easily able to use photoshop to work on mods.
    – Ryan
    Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 2:09

I like Joonas answer and his approach. He states that ultimately any skills learned should prepare the child for future usage, which is most likely going to be Photoshop. I therefore decided to teach our little one Photoshop straight away instead of opting for a different software tool all together.

She's just under 4 years old and although very young the first tutorial went quite well. The lesson I used is suitable for children aged 3-8 years.

First Photoshop lesson with Stickman Obviously I had to make the session interesting and easy enough for her to understand. I did that by turning the lesson into a child friendly story: My first photoshop lesson with stickman. And I restricted the learning to basic features (moving layers, copying layers, opacity blending and colouring in). I believe that is it quite important to start with a small subset of tools rather than overwhelming the child with to many features.

I should note that this approach requires an adult to participate until the basic features are understood.

  • Really interesting, thanks for sharing! Amazing to see it can work that young. Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 21:53

This is quite a hard question..

I started thinking about this question by considering future usage.. and as photoshop is the boss.. neither of these wouldnt be bad stepping stones to start using your regular Photoshop.

And both of these have relatively simple UI.

Suggestion 1.

Pixlr web editor is absolutely free and works on virtually any web browser that has flash support.


note that the image is somewhat outdated. Pixlr web editor

It's a lot like Photoshop. Actually it is just like photoshop, it's just missing some features..

In my opinion the UI is rather simple ( though my staring of regular photoshop might cloud my judgement ) Its a lot more colorful and as it is missing things that say Photoshop cs5 has.. its makes it a lot simpler to look at.

It also comes with quite a few languages.. not sure if that is good or bad as in my opinion english is best to use with programs like this.

Suggestion 2.

I wouldnt normally suggest Photoshop Elements but, well the UI it has going on these days is rather people friendly I think. It might be good starting point as well..

Photoshop Elements 9

On the other hand your regular Photoshop's do have a lot more tutorials ( though you can usually improvise with these sort of things.. )

Suggestion 3.

I wasnt sure about adding this as I originally thought about how easy it would be to go from specific program to using Photoshop. But for the sake of contributing to the question I changed my mind.

I have only tried this once and I'm fairly sure theres a lot of differences.. like the hotkeys which I dont know but am pretty sure that they are quite different..

Paint.NET: http://www.getpaint.net/

enter image description here


What age are we talking about? My kids LOVED KidPix, though they'll likely outgrow it by 1st grade or so.

Our kids can handle most any of the iPad art apps out there. I think due to the nature of touch and the newness of the platform, art apps have very friendly UIs in that space.

I agree with Mike, though, if they've mastered Counterstrike, most modern software UI's aren't likely going to be all that much of a challenge for them.


So...3 years later and I stumble upon this question again. Thought I'd add an update. My kids are obviously 3 years older now. One a preteen, the other a few years behind.

Things I've learned in the past 3 years:

  • kids will learn any software that they find interesting
    • For my kids, this has meant SketchUp and Inkscape. Both apps that likely would have been greek to me at their age.
  • Minecraft, though highly addictive, also seems far superior to most any first person shooter. Though it's not a 'graphics app' per se, the kids tend to create massive structures within. It combines good 3D spacial concepts as well as logic (as there is rudimentary circuit designs within the game play).

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