Little boy looking at the sky
Jorm S /

If you’ve ever been around kids, you know how limitless their imaginations can be. A simple cardboard box is an endless world of possibilities. What if we let that imagination run wild with DALL-E and Stable Diffusion?

That’s the amazing thing about the many AI image generators that are available now. Obviously, there are limits to what the AI can do, but you are basically free to enter anything and see what happens. It’s a playground for your imagination.

I decided to let my 4-year-old have some fun in that playground. First, I explained to him that I had a tool that could make an image of anything he could imagine. I showed him a few examples of images I had made to get him started. Then I asked what fun things he would like to make…

Note: The images below show results from both DALL-E 2 Beta (left) and a web version of Stable Diffusion (right).

A Grasshopper Eating Pizza

The first idea he had was brilliant. Right away, I knew this was going to be fun.

A grasshopper eating pizza.

DALL-E did a very good job with this one. It almost looks like the grasshopper is holding a piece of crust to its mouth. I’m not really sure what Stable Diffusion did here. It’s a pizza with some green on it? I don’t want to think about what that might be.

A Hot Dog Saying Hello to a Pizza

Next was another pizza-themed prompt. Can you tell we like pizza?

A hot dog saying hello to a pizza.

DALL-E did a much better job with this one too. It added an actual dog and didn’t include pizza, but it did manage to spell “hello” correctly (once), which doesn’t always happen. Stable Diffusion just gave us a sausage pizza.

Spider-Man Wiggling and Singing

After the last one, he went down a rabbit hole on things saying “hello” to other things. I subtly suggested trying something else, like his favorite superhero.

Spider-man wiggling and singing.

Well, that’s definitely Spider-Man doing…something. I like the style of DALL-E’s image, though I can’t tell if he’s singing or looking at his mangled fingers in agony. Stable Diffusion went more realistic and added some extra limbs.

A Square Birthday Cake With Blueberry Frosting and a Cherry and Strawberry on Top

I realized giving him a bit of direction was helpful, so I asked him to describe his next birthday cake. He was surprisingly detailed with his description.

A square birthday cake with blueberry frosting and a cherry and strawberry on top.

DALL-E and Stable Diffusion both did really well with this one. I would believe both of these to be real cakes people could make. I especially love that DALL-E put a “5” on the cake. No idea where that came from, but it’s perfect.

A Praying Mantis Drawing a Strawberry

His next idea was “a praying mantis drawing,” so I asked him what it should be drawing. Fruit was still on his mind.

A Praying Mantis Drawing a Strawberry.

Again, DALL-E was much closer to what we had in mind. Stable Diffusion kinda just spit out a bunch of praying mantis body parts and strawberries.

A Ghost Laughing and Dancing

At the time of writing, Halloween is coming up, and that’s an exciting time for a 4-year-old. I asked him to think of something Halloween-related.

A Ghost Laughing and Dancing.

Adorable. Well, one of them is adorable. DALL-E seems to default to cutesy animated images if you don’t give it a lot of detail. I don’t know what Stable Diffusion did, but I don’t want to look at it anymore.

An Anteater Wearing Pants

This last prompt might be my favorite. I asked him to think of some silly things animals could do.

An Anteater Wearing Pants.

There you have it folks, the answer to the age-old question: “how should a four-legged creature wear pants?” The DALL-E image is really funny to me. I love the expression on the anteater’s face. Again, Stable Diffusion is freaking me out.

This was really fun to do, and my son was having a great time with it! With just a few small suggestions here and there, we came up with some great prompts: Things I never would have thought of myself. There’s a lot more you can do with AI-generated art, too.

RELATED: What Can You Do With AI Generated Art?

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »