This activity idea owes it’s birth to a lot of questions from my youngest about how he could become a LEGO designer after finding out playing with LEGO was a job! I explained that LEGO designers were doing something called product development. This sparked more questions and I told him he could try out being a product developer by doing his own project.
I have a lot of crafting supplies on hand, so we did not have to go get anything. We discussed availability of materials as he was deciding what to create. I would encourage that too so that you don’t have to go out to find something crazy. This is a very real application of what product developers have to do. They have to know what resources are available to them when designing.
My older son (13) also joined in, but in a very different way. He is learning to code with Python and wanted to code a game. This project really can be applied to anything your kids are interested in, baking, arts and crafts, LEGO, etc.
This project is cross discipline which means that kids will have to apply skills from various educational subjects depending on what they choose to develop. Writing and logical reasoning are also an important part of this process.
What To Do:
Print off the 2 pages of worksheets included for free below and help your child work through the questions. My 13 year old did this with very little help from me. My 8 year old needed to be reigned in a little bit.
Gather supplies to help them create their prototype.
Use the prototype and help them answer the follow up questions on the second page. Along with creating an ad for their product.
We ended up spending two days on this, since the prototype creation took a lot of time. I have been really impressed with both kids creativity and willingness to learn whatever necessary to create their item (like sewing!)
My 8 year old developed a play mat for his panda figurines (favorite animal). He even thought about having a place to store things and designed a pocket on the back to hold the items. Also super impressed with his idea of rolling the felt and putting them in the wood rings so they would stand up! Seriously sometimes we just need to get out of our kids way 🙂 My 13 year old is creating a Choose your own adventure story app. His will probably spend more time in the prototype stage but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen so far.
I’d love to see what your kids create!