Pictaps{width=”240” height=”144”}I found this on [http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/26/stickfigure_webtoy.html|Boing Boing] last week, and it’s been a blast with the kids.

[http://roxik.com/pictaps/|Pictaps] is a super-cool flash app written by Japanese web designer [http://roxik.com/|Masayuki Kido] that allows you to draw a character, then watch a multitude of them dance, cheer and jump around to the beat of funky music. The drawing tools are simple enough that my 6 and 3-year-olds were able to use them, but still sufficiently powerful to create some real artwork if you put some time into it.

Another cool aspect is the semi-social features of the app. When you create a character, you give it a name, and it is placed into a pool of all the characters that have been created, along the bottom of the screen. You can click on any of these other characters you can see their drawing process and then see them dance around. You can even keep a list of favorites to watch again when you return.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to vote for other characters or see how many have been favorited to see any sort of ranking of the best ones, but it’s still totally cool and a fun way to let the kids be creative.

I just found that you can embed a character in your own webpage with the “Put in Blog” feature. It keeps getting cooler. Here’s my first creation (the embedding doesn’t seem to grab all of the drawing, but you get the idea):