After doing some googling I'm starting to think I imagined that Adobe is providing an old version of Creative Suite free of charge, and it is in the public domain.
I'm setting up an old laptop with the goal of exposing some young children to Creative Suite. Is there an old version available for free?
If not, does anyone have suggestions for alternatives?
Adobe provides server downloads for older software for users that have an old licence.
If the kids have tablets or iPhones it may be better introducing them to Adobe’s free mobile aps. See my blog:
The latest mobile versions of Lightroom are free to use but for full sync with desktop LR CC is needed.
Older product versions require a valid serial number to activate them. And many older versions won't run on modern operating systems. They're too old.
Introducing kids to obsolete software doesn't exactly help them. Too much has changed in the last few years.
If you're a qualifying teacher, you can join Creative Cloud at the academic discount rate -- about 60% off.