Kids love computer art programs that enable them to produce fun things irrespective of their drawing skills. Printpaks is a new craft program which does just that. There are four programs on CD-Rom in the Printpaks range - fridge magnets, pop-up cards, iron-ons for T-shirts and stained glass-effect window art.

The programs are easy to use. Max the dog is the cartoon character on hand to talk children through each creative step, although my kids found the instructions so clear that Max was used more for fun than help.

Everything you need for each project is provided and all the programs follow the same basic process - first, you create your design. Second, you print it out; then you construct the finished product.

Designs are created by choosing from Printpaks' art library and then combining your picture with borders or text, depending on the project. My children found the art library limiting and used Broderbund's Kid Pik Studio art program to create some of their own designs. Transferring their art into Printpaks was easy as the program does all the resizing and reversal of text for transfers for you. A colour printer is a must - our Epson Stylus 500 with Printpaks' special papers and transfer materials gave really bright colours on the finished products.

A scanner gives you the option to use your own photographs. My son used our Epson GT-5000 to scan pictures from his birthday party into Printpaks' Pop-Up Greetings Kit to make thank-you cards. This was his second best option. He really wanted to follow the US craze for sending friends home with a customised T-shirt featuring the party. What a great idea - ironing instead of going to your kid's birthday party.

Printpaks (0181 876 0880)

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