Holiday season is upon us! I can tell because my in-box is starting to fill up with emails from parents looking to buy Pixie for their child at home and teachers looking to recommend Pixie as a gift option for their students. If you are using Wixie, home use is FREE since students can log in from home any time during their year subscription.
Wixie and Pixie are great ways to bring “school” home, while avoiding worksheet, or workbook, style activities. But when these powerful creativity tools open for the first time, a lot of parents (although not many kids), can be intimidated by that blank white page! What in the world are you supposed to do?
Start with play!
For the most part, students who use Wixie or Pixie at school know exactly what they want to do with it at home... Play and create!
While Wixie and Pixie are way more than an art tool, if you feel you need to give some direction to your child, start by encouraging them to treat Pixie's blank page like a blank piece of paper and play with the art tools.
Encourage them to “make a mess” with as many paint brush sizes and colors as possible, or add 100 different pieces of clip art. Here is a sample of the type of "art play" my preschooler likes to do with Pixie.
Play provides children with an opportunity to take risks and make mistakes without consequences. Playing in Pixie will also help them learn the rules, constraints, and opportunities available to them in Wixie.
Kids who love to write will quickly start adding thought bubbles and captions. Many will discover they need way more than one page to tell their story. Encourage their writing by printing their work as booklets you can read away from your computer or tablet and send to family and friends.
Many kids who don’t like to write, still love to share ideas and information. When they start telling you a story, open Pixie and click the Record button on the option panel. Then listen to their ideas, and encourage them to add art, images, and words to the page.
Other kids may start to create patterns or repeat their efforts for both practice and variations, making small changes to see what happens.
While Wixie and Pixie include lots of curriculum-based activities you can use at home, or you can start with more open-ended projects that don’t have such a content connection. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Paint with symmetry
Even if a child isn’t your typical art kid, they all love to see what happens when they turn on Symmetry with the Brush tools.
To turn on symmetry, click the Paint panel, choose one of the brushes in the bottom row of tools, turn symmety On and then choose the number "axes" you want to use.
Turn on a single axis to paint with mirror symmetry. Challenge your child to draw symmetrical objects like a butterfly or kite using the mirror options. You can find more ideas for mirror symmetry in this Symmetry lesson plan.
You may remember playing with Spirograph as a child, or even purchased this still fun art toy for your child. Painting with the 4, 6, 8, or 32 lines of symmetry options is much like working with Spirograph, only a whole lot easier (and much easier to recover from a mistake).
Now might be the perfect time to make snowflakes. Since all snowflakes have 6 sides, turn on the six-sided option to create a snowflake. It is hard to conceptualize that every snowflake is unique, but simply have your child draw more than one, and this as a possibility opens up.
Create an e-card!
I have a child who hates the effort of physically writing thank-you cards after a birthday party. If your child gets Pixie for the holidays, take a picture of them with their gift, add it to a page in Pixie, record a thank you, export a video, and send away!
You can also print multipage projects as booklets and greeting cards to send by snail mail, but the addition of your child's recorded voice saying thank you makes the electronic version priceless!
Use Wixie? Lucky you!
Wixie is free to use at home when you have a subscription at school!
Students who have Wixie at school can use this cloud-based tool at home by simply logging in! There are free apps for Wixie for iPad, Android tablets, KindleFire HDs, and even Chromebooks! Students with a desktop or laptop at home can access Wixie using their browser.
Free Parent Guides
For both Pixie and Wixie, download free guides with ideas you can easily implement at home to support what your child is learning in the classroom.