I've worked in several offices where people have made heavy use of Microsoft Paint, not only to alleviate the boredom of a long day, but also to sketch quick diagrams (such as maps) that were then faxed to others. Under Ubuntu you can use GIMP for sketching things, but it's a sledgehammer to crack a nut when it comes to simple diagrams.
Ubuntu's equivalent to Microsoft Paint is GNU Paint, and it can be installed using Synaptic (search for the gpaint package). Once installed it can be found on the Applications ^ Graphics menu, and operation is almost exactly the same as the Windows program. GNU Paint is a fork of the older but perhaps more feature-full XPaint, which is also available in Synaptic (search for the xpaint package; once installed, you'll find it also on the Applications ^ Graphics menu). However, Xpaint lacks integration with the GNOME desktop. For example, it utilizes menu buttons that you access by clicking and holding, rather than simply hovering your mouse over.
If you're just looking for a package for kids to play around with, try installing the tuxpaint package. Once installed, this can be found on the Applications ^ Education menu.
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