This third lockdown has resulted in more challenges for families as they once again try to juggle family and work life. In light of the latest announcement that children will not be going back to school until March at the earliest, designers across the world have rallied together to develop creativity-led resources and activities to help out parents and carers. I have pulled together a list of our favourites, which include a range of screen-based activities as well as more hands-on activities suitable for a mix of age groups.
Based on the cartoon character Nebula, NASA’s kids’ club is an online resource which provides both creative and STEM-focused activities. Much of what’s on offer here is computer-based, such as online mini-games covering everything from space trivia to biodiversity. The games are suitable for primary school aged children, and if they love anything space they will LOVE this!
Elsewhere on the website, you’ll find different hands-on experiments and lessons for kids to do when screen time is over and you are ready to get crafty. One of the activities involves building and testing your own spacecraft, another teaches you how to make your own “galactic mobile”!
For the past three years, the educational platform ‘Eyeyah’ has been using graphic design to teach young people about the world around them. Since the pandemic hit us they have been offering this three-fold: for each topic they focus on the team produces a magazine-style print publication, social media-based activities and a toolkit making it easy for parents and carers to do with children at home..
Topics covered by the team at Eyeyah are vast, previous editions have discussed the ocean, rubbish and the internet. Each edition is designed as a colourful magazine and filled with engaging content to help connect with young people using a visual language they know and appreciate.
What's the coolest creature you've spotted in a park?
— Anorak Magazine (@AnorakMagazine) January 31, 2021
I have found that a large percentage 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 just what you need. The regularly published Anorak magazine (and its sister publication Dot) will provide plenty of offline entertainment.
Each magazine has a collection of games, activities, and stories for kids to browse through, with each one focused on a different topic. The most recent edition focuses on parks – after spending almost a year at home, the magazine prompts kids to use their imagination to explore the different parks of the world from Canada and New York, to Singapore and Argentina.
Are you home schooling? Would you like to encourage your child to do more art and design? Check out our weekly #LetsMakeWednesdays series and have family fun together at home! This week we highlight our five favourites published so far. Read more: https://t.co/BMeEPAOXfu pic.twitter.com/mqAl0u9mRt
— V&A (@V_and_A) January 27, 2021
Launched during the first lockdown, this weekly design challenge has continued into 2021. If you haven’t had the pleasure of doing one yet, the series of creative exercises and challenges are inspired by objects in the museum’s collection, with the aim of nurturing and encouraging a new generation of fashion designers.
The activities are aimed at 7-11 year olds and are announced via the V&As Twitter and Facebook pages every Wednesday. There is absolutely no special equipment required to participate, you can use pens, paper, cardboard boxes and well, pretty much anything else you can find around the house.
The Netflix series ‘Emily’s Wonder Lab’ offers kids short STEM-focused lessons and experiments using tools and materials that can easily be found around the home.
Along with many weird and wonderful experiments, 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. The science content is generally aimed at kids age 5+, but the show is otherwise appropriate for younger kids as well. It’s definitely a great way to get your kids to start learning about science.
Never short of ways to bring design into the home, the London’s Design Museum has a specific area on its website for kids and their parents. Here you’ll find all kinds of creative resources like worksheets and lesson plans (some featuring Hey Duggee), 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. Even better, all past tasks are available to browse on the Young Design Museum website.
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