Computer Projects for Kids

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

As technology has grown over the past few years, so to has our reliance on computers within the classroom. There are a number of ways to prepare younger students for the extensive computer use they will encounter in high school. Read on for some suggestions to include in your classroom.

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

Have students use a word processing program to develop a newsletter. In order to make the project meaningful, they should select a topic that will hold their interest. Some examples include:

  • A particular sport or hobby (baseball, ballet, painting)
  • A celebrity or historical person of note (musicians, actors, inventors)
  • An event or era (the Victorian era, Prohibition, the 1960s)

This project is best completed over a few weeks in incremental stages, including prewriting, drafting, revising and, finally, publishing. Completing this project can help students become familiar with not only typing and formatting, but also with adding graphics and other enhancements to improve the look of their newsletter. offers the following video lessons to provide your students with a brief review of word processing programs and applications:

Project Presentations

Ask your students to develop a brief oral presentation. Possible topics could include a historical biography, book report or even the results of a science project. Have students use a multimedia program to add images and sound to their presentations. While several programs exist, perhaps the easiest to use is PowerPoint.

For more information on PowerPoint, including a review of what makes for an effective presentation and a tutorial on everything from creating slides to adding animation, check out these resources:

Budgeting with Spreadsheets

Students can learn to use spreadsheet programs by creating a mock budget for a class party. After telling them the maximum amount of money they'll be allowed to spend, ask students to determine the number of guests and come up with a list of supplies. It could include anything from the food they plan on serving to decorations and necessities like paper cups and plates. Students will also need to research each item's cost.

Using a program like Excel, they can then create a worksheet containing one column each for the item names, number of items and costs per item. They'll then need to enter the formulas used to calculate total cost per item and the overall expenses as well as the amount they're over or under budget. offers several resources for teachers and students alike who need an introduction to or desire a refresher on Excel:

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