Tuxpaint is a popular free drawing program designed especially for kids. It features quirky sound effects and a simplified interface that is ideal for younger children. All the basics that you’d expect in a drawing package are available, including brushes of various sizes and styles, shape tools, and a collection of ‘magic’ effects that can be applied to a drawing.

The best feature is a great set of stamps that lets kids plonk down fully formed cut-outs (animals, coins, hats, spacemen, food, symbols etc) into their work of art. Here’s one that AJ prepared earlier:

tux paint screen shot 02

I think that’s Air Force One cruising past a meat pie.

Tuxpaint is available for most operating systems including Windows and OSX, and it’s also well suited to being run on older computers. If you download it, be sure to also download any additional stamp packs that have been made for your operating system’s version.

18 Responses to “Tuxpaint”

  1. Fiona

    Thanks for writing about this. I just downloaded it. Can’t wait to show my daughter! 🙂

  2. Melanie

    We love, love, love Tux Paint in our household! We’re running it on Linux, and my 3.5yo son has absolutely no problems using it.

  3. gkgirl

    this is awesome!

    my kids use the “paint” program
    that comes with windows
    but they are going to
    gobble this up…

    thanks for sharing it
    and this site was a fantastic idea!

  4. Hsien Lei

    Nice!! Off to download it now unless it takes too long on dial-up. Lost my broadband connection a while ago and it’s still not fixed. *sob*

    My son’s been playing with BBC’s Toybox games collection which has a paintbox with similar functions. Of course, this CD-ROm software isn’t free….

  5. Andrea

    this is wonderful, thanks so much, again!!

  6. caroline

    I downloaded this straight away and my son (6) is smitten. I love his laughter from the crazy pictures he has created. Thank you for letting me know about this.

  7. Ali

    Thank you for the great link – I downloaded it (just in time for half-term!) and my 5 yo loves it. Very intuitive program.

  8. Julie

    Wow. Thank you so much. My daughter uses it everyday and she really enjoys figuring out all of the features.

  9. kelli ann

    thank you! i downloaded tux paint this past week & it is great to see the boys (6 and 4) giggling uncontrollably as they stamp the page with toilets (huge and small) with rubber ducks rising out of them. love kiddley BTW– and best of courage & rest for the weeks upcoming!

  10. hannah

    love this tuxpaint download and having great fun on it, must remember to show it to the kids!!!

  11. Ian Chia

    Some good tips that I recently discovered about Tux Paint – both the Windows and OS X versions come with a second app called tuxpaint-config (.exe or .app depending on the platform.)

    This solves a bunch of niggly things that frustrated my 4 year old (and me ). First, you can set the screen size so it covers the WHOLE screen, which is great for little ones still learning mouse control.

    There’s also an option to have “no button distinction”, which translates to them being able to click the left or right or centre buttons and still have it do the left click action – again very handy for little ones.

    You can also define a different save directory as well as a bunch of other options. *Definitely* worth checking out and exploring the various options.

    Finally, by default TuxPaint saves pictures in the:

    your_boot_drive_letter:Documents and Settingsyour_user_nameApplication DataTuxPaintsaved

    folder under Win XP. (I think it’s similar under Win98). This is handy if you’re scanning various bits of doodles that your children have drawn and want to draw extra stuff using TuxPaint!

  12. Ian Chia

    Just had to drop a bunch of pictures into the OSX box for my daughter. The images are stored in:

    ~yourusername/Library/Application Support/TuxPaint/saved/

    Images must be in PNG format. (I think Quicktime can convert to PNG, but I just batched them all using Fireworks.)


    – Ian

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