Design Week’s guide to creative kids’ resources for lockdown 3.0

Another lockdown poses both old and new challenges to family life, but designers have rallied to develop creativity-led resources to ease pressure on parents and carers – here are our favourites.

Young Design Museum

Never short of ways to bring design into the home, London’s Design Museum has a specific area on its website for kids and their parents. Here you’ll find creative resources like worksheets and lesson plans, as well as prompts for hands-on making using objects you can find around the home.

The museum’s Create and Make at Home activity series in particular could help make the coming weeks (or months) in lockdown more engaging – each week, a new task is set which comes complete with a video tutorial. Previous activities include making musical instruments like castanets and banjos out of cardboard, and all past tasks are available to browse on the Young Design Museum website.

Head here to access.

Eyeyah editions

For the last three years, educational platform Eyeyah has been using graphic design to teach young people about the world around them. Its offering is three-fold: for each topic or “edition” focused on, the team aims to put out a magazine-style print publication, social media-based activities and a toolkit for teachers to use in the classroom. Now that the kitchen table has become the classroom for many parents, Eyeyah’s resources could be more useful than ever.

Topics covered by the team at Eyeyah are wide-ranging – previous editions have discussed the ocean, rubbish and the internet. Co-founders Steve Lawler and Tanya Wilson also spoke with Design Week last year about their upcoming fake news edition. Each edition is designed as a colourful magazine and filled with engaging content – as Lawler explains, the idea isn’t to act as a finger-wagging parent but connect with young people using a visual language they know and appreciate.

Find out more here.

NASA Kids’ Club

Helmed by cartoon character Nebula, NASA’s kids’ club is an online resource which offers both creative and STEM-focused activities. Much of what’s on offer here is computer-based, so think online mini-games covering everything from space trivia to biodiversity. Games meet national US educational standards and are suitable for primary school aged children.

Elsewhere on the website, you’ll find different hands-on experiments and lessons for kids for when screen time is over. Crafty activities include prompts to build and test your own spacecraft and how to make your own “galactic mobile”.

See what’s on offer here.

Minecraft: Education Edition

A handy way to mix game time and school time, popular kids game Minecraft has a separate educational platform. Like NASA’s kids’ club, Minecraft: Education Edition is a mix of creative and STEM-based learning and is set in the immersive blocky world of the original game.

The mission is to “unlock creativity with game-based learning”, according to the people behind the game. Lessons which direct learning to compliment different classroom topics can be found on the website. Subjects covered include the environment (in collaboration with WWF), computer science and coding and history and languages. There’s also a set of resources to help adapt to remote learning (again).

Have a look here.

Anorak magazine

A lot of the tools on offer for kids in lockdown are based online, so for designers and parents looking to reduce screen time printed materials are a good bet. The regularly published Anorak magazine (and its sister publication Dot) will provide plenty of entertainment offline.

Each magazine has a collection of games, activities and stories for kids to browse through, with every one focused on a different topic. The most recent edition centres around parks – after spending almost a year at home, the magazine prompts kids to use their imagination to explore the parks of the world from Canada and New York, to Singapore and Argentina.

Head here to explore.

Emily’s Wonder Lab

Another one for hands-on learning, the Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab offers kids short STEAM-focused lessons and experiments using tools and materials that can easily be found around the home. Design Week spoke to host Emily Calandrelli about the show and how the arts and science are inextricably linked last year.

Along with weird and wonderful experiments (find out, for example, what ooblek and rainbow horse toothpaste are by watching the show), Calandrelli’s hosting and team of young helpers aims to open up the world of science to diverse audiences. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” she says, so it’s the perfect show for parents wanting to break down stereotypes.

Also check out:

  • BBC TV lessons: the public service broadcaster has announced it will be putting on several hours’ worth of school lessons each day to help kids and parents through this third lockdown. Programmes will be shown on CBBC (for primary-aged kids) and BBC Two (for secondary-aged) and will include subjects like art and design, history and science.
  • V&A Lets Make Wednesdays: introduced during the first lockdown, this weekly design challenge has continued into 2021. Each week, the team at the V&A set a design challenge for kids which is based off of a different area of the museum’s extensive collection.
  • Design Week’s first guide to kids’ resources: during the first lockdown, we rounded up an initial list of helpful design-led resources for parents and children which remain as relevant as ever.
Hide Comments (2)Show Comments (2)
  • Sarah January 11, 2021 at 11:48 am

    We also love AQUILA magazine, beautifully designed and rich enough to keep and return to over time.

  • Andy Hill January 12, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for this – have just shared with my daughter for the grand-children 🙂

  • Post a comment

Latest articles