Know any kids who light up at the thought of taking apart electronics, building an app, or making their own video game? Summer is the perfect time to focus on creating, rather than consuming. Naturally curious kids can take risks freely, learn from mistakes, and solve problems -- without the pressure of deadlines or grades. Making use of tutorials and how-to guides, kids can easily create cool stuff with these nifty apps, games, and websites.
Try out Scratch or Minecraft for open-ended, limitless digital creation geared toward younger makers. Kids a little older can dive into Gamestar Mechanic or LittleBigPlanet 2, two captivating game-making platforms that will expand their minds and involve them in a vibrant community of makers. For older teens, SketchUp and Animoto build up their art and design skills via 3-D design projects and video editing. All of these tools not only provide a vehicle for creating, they're also fully loaded with the necessary fuel, like how-to's, community features, and inspirational ideas, to rev up the creativity.