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I've donated my old laptop to my 3 year old kid. Are there any desktop environments designed especially for this age group?

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Ok - going to close this since the answers are getting decidedly off-topic discussing other distro's. –  fossfreedom Jun 24 '12 at 7:43
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OP has requested migration to unix and linux - request to the mods there has been made - awaiting reply. –  fossfreedom Jun 24 '12 at 16:45
    
@fossfreedom I think the question would be ok on Unix & Linux, being suitable for a three-year old is a highly specific requirement. I'm not impressed by the answers here, though. So rather than a migration I'd advise Detnuomnu to repost, with “3 year old” in large, bold letters. Even One Laptop Per Child doesn't seem to aim that low. –  Gilles Jun 24 '12 at 23:21
    
ok - no positive replies from the mods - take that as not suitable for migration. Feel free to ask on Unix and Linux if required. –  fossfreedom Jun 25 '12 at 12:06
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closed as not constructive by Jorge Castro, fossfreedom Jun 24 '12 at 7:41

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4 Answers

If you want a fully designed system for children Qimo is ideal.

It is designed visually for children and can not be afraid to break it since it has not the potential of a professional platform.

Images:

first second

Qimo web pages

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i looked this up on distrowatch. It says the default de is xfce. also the last release was over 2 years ago. –  Detnuomnu Jun 16 '12 at 16:48
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Ubuntu Education Edition; An official version of Ubuntu Linux designed for use in classrooms and schools.

Installation on an existing Ubuntu system

Edubuntu provides application bundles that group educational software by grade level. You can install from the Education category in the "Software Center" entry in the Applications menu or installing the following packages using your favorite package manager:

ubuntu-edu-preschool - Preschool ( < 5 years old) educational application bundle
ubuntu-edu-primary - Primary ( ages 6-12) educational application bundle
ubuntu-edu-secondary - Secondary ( ages 13-18) educational application bundle
ubuntu-edu-tertiary - Tertiary ( university level ) educational application bundle

You can also install all Edubuntu packages, including artwork by installing the edubuntu-desktop package.

More details on what's included in these bundles are available on the Ubuntu wiki.

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This has a nice upgrade path as my kid gets older. –  Detnuomnu Jun 16 '12 at 15:59
    
Maybe I'm missing something but as far as I can tell this is just a regular Unity/ubuntu with some extra's for classroom environments, and some nice application bundles. I will definately make use of the bundles. –  Detnuomnu Jun 22 '12 at 12:45
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Try something with bigger ICONS, if you don't mind switching, if i am not wrong Fedora's sugar had a specifically designed DE for kids. Check that out.

launcher

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This doesn't deal with Ubuntu. –  hexafraction Jun 16 '12 at 15:23
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Sugar on a stick is based on fedora. Sugar is present in ubuntu repo's. –  Detnuomnu Jun 16 '12 at 15:34
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My impression of sugar is that it is for an older age, with many semi-technical programs, lots of focus on collaboration, etc.. I'll definately give this another go in say 3 years. –  Detnuomnu Jun 16 '12 at 15:38
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There's also a distribution called Doudodu Linux. you can download the torrent of the iso here. gdm lxde

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Great live usb solution if you don't want your kids anywhere near the harddisk. based on debian squeeze. uses lxde/lxlauncher. I Like that it can boot straight into gcompris from gdm. –  Detnuomnu Jun 20 '12 at 11:39
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