Classrooms / Education / Gaming / Open Educational Resources / Uncategorized

Really fun (and free) educational software: Tux4Kids

This is the kind of thing I knew about a few years ago: good free learning software for kids.

Tux4Kids Logo

Tux4Kids is a suite of free educational software programs that are absolutely worth using in the classroom.   This set of programs was developed by Bill Kendrick and is licensed under a GNU license.  You can use it in the classroom, share it with as many other teachers as you like, and even send a copy home to kids to use on their home PC.  All free.

Or try out just one of the programs in the suite.  Here is a brief outline of what’s on offer:

  • TuxPaint – a graphics program similar to MS Paint, but with more capabilities and a kid-friendly menu
  • TuxMath – an arcade-style video game for learning math, kids solve math problems to save a city!
  • TuxTyping – a typing program where kids type letters or words labeled on fish as they move across the screen

Tux penguin familyThe programs are themed around the Linux penguin character named “Tux,” which has no problem appealing to children in K-6 grade level.  There are fun sounds that help engage kids as they go through the programs.  Although the graphics are a bit simple, it’s still hard to believe that this software is free.

Here’s a tutorial video that shows the features of TuxPaint:

The software is very well thought-out and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Did I mention that it’s free?

If you’re looking to give your students (or children!) some fun activities that they will learn from, it’s worth giving Tux4Kids a try.  What other free software do you use in your classroom or at home?

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6 thoughts on “Really fun (and free) educational software: Tux4Kids

  1. Hello! You might be interested in HyperStudio. It enables younger kids to create page-by-page narratives using buttons, animations, MS paint-like features, etc. I have a feeling they would get interested in how the back-end works after playing with it; definitely peaked my interests back then. 🙂

  2. Oh Tux, fond memories. Though not a lover of the sound effects, bleugh-bleugh-bleugh, really couldn’t Tux make some cute noise like the sound of pillows being fluffed or marshmallows dropped?. Way back in 2010-ish I met Paul when he came out to the school I then worked at. Those guys worked magic for us and I have been a Linux faithful ever since. Tux has a major following in education and there are some great discussions and lesson plans shared all over the world! I wonder if I still have any of that in favourites…anyway thought I’d share my stroll down memory lane you inspired.

    • Thanks for sharing, Abi. Cool to hear that you had a visit from a real F/OSS advocate and that it stuck! The sound effects are a little goofy, but the younger kids seem to like them :]

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