Fashion design software offers kids an easy, inexpensive way to try out the many design ideas they have in their heads. It also can help older kids who are considering careers in fashion design figure out whether they would enjoy the work. It takes a lot of planning to create a clothing line, and fashion design software gives kids a taste of the work involved as they create virtual fashions and make design decisions.
Keep kids engaged by choosing software that includes multiple activities. For example, some software allows kids to create a fashion collection, take photos of their designs and e-mail those photos to friends. Other versions also allow kids to show off their designs in a virtual fashion show for which they can choose the models' makeup, hairstyles and accessories.
Read the software description carefully to make sure it allows kids to design an imaginary clothing line. The description should mention that users can choose their own clothing cuts, colors and fabric patterns. Some software for kids allows them to only act as style consultants, where they buy virtual ready-made clothing and choose wardrobes for imaginary customers.
Remember that the clothing and models are animated, and some have much less of a realistic appearance than others. Fashion design software boxes often feature pictures of real people or realistic-looking drawings on the front. However, screen shots of the software in action on the back of the boxes may show models, fashion shows and other settings with a cartoon-like appearance. Older kids may prefer versions that have a more realistic look.
Boost kids' fashion design skills as well as their coordination by choosing software that creates challenges. Such software may include a game format in which players compete against other designers to win a runway event. Other versions can introduce kids to business skills as they run a virtual boutique.
Make sure a child's computer is equipped to run fashion design software. Older computers may not have appropriate video cards to accommodate some versions. Read customer reviews online to find out about compatibility problems people may have, even with newer computers.
Select age-appropriate software for kids. Unless an adult who is interested in fashion intends to help, younger children may get frustrated with software that is too challenging.
Frances Burks has more than 15 years experience in writing positions, including work as a news analyst for executive briefings and as an Associated Press journalist. Burks has banking and business development experience, and she has written numerous articles on consumer issues and home improvement. Burks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan.