My preschooler has loved Blue Man Group, the offbeat musicians and entertainers, ever since he saw an exhibit featuring their PVC-pipe instruments at the Boston Children’s Museum. (Yes, we have something of a PVC-pipe obsession around here.) He loves to watch the video clips on their Web site, but his latest interest is their new online Work of Art game. On the face of it, it’s yet another Flash-based online painting app, similar to the ones on many mass-media children’s sites. (See, for example, the “Cars Coloring Book” on the Cars site.) Click a color or select an object, and start drawing. What makes this one unique is the quirky Blue Man humor of it. Instead of a paintbrush, there’s a hand with an outstretched finger so you can “fingerpaint.” You can also throw or shoot objects such as marshmallows, Jello, Cap’n Crunch cereal, and Twinkies at your “canvas.” (Hint: The Cap’n Crunch won’t stick unless it hits paint.)
If you’ve ever seen a Blue Man Group show, this all makes perfect sense. If not, you can view it either as a philosophical exercise on the nature of art, or just a bunch of silliness that can nevertheless entertain a small child (and many adults) for quite some time. (Disclaimer: My son has never actually eaten Twinkies or Cap’n Crunch cereal. I have yet to find a Web site involving art made from broccoli and carrots, however.) Next time you’re looking for an alternative to the children’s-brand sites, and are tired of searching through Google Videos to entertain your troops, give this a whirl.