Design Mindsets for Early Ed

A set of ongoing experiments to foster design mindset with kids aged 2-5 years old.

Experiment 2

Experiment 2a: 

  1. Set out some building materials or crafts supplies for you and your child to use. 
  2. Set a timer for 10 minutes. For the next 10 minutes, co-create something with your child, going along with every idea your child suggests and reinforcing every idea as right, interesting and amazing!
  3. Jot down quick notes to three questions. a) What did you do with the time? b) How did you feel during the 10 minutes? c) What did you notice about your child? 

Experiment 2b: 

  1. Print out the images in this PDF and cut them out so they are like cards. 
  2. Place the largest one in front of your child and ask "what is happening here." Follow up with "why" questions or "tell me more."
  3. Place the remaining four smaller images in front of your child. Let him/her pick one that came before the main image and one that comes after. Ask your child to tell you the whole story of the three images in sequence.

Experiment 1

Mindset: Imaginative Interpretation & Storytelling

Question: How do kids describe images that are very far out of their everyday norm? How do they perceive sequence of events that come just before or after?


  1. Present an image (or let your child choose from a group of images) that is vivid, teeming with story, and outside of anything they may have seen in their life experience to date. I love using NY Times most interesting photo blog.
  2. Ask "what is happening in this image" and let their imagination run wild. Everything they say is right and interesting. No correcting or leading (I learned my lesson here).
  3. Ask "what happened just before this moment" or "how did these people (if applicable) get here?" Ask "what is about to happen?"

Here are some clips of what Wils said!

Initial Brainstorm

How might we create 10-minute exercises that parents feel confident trying with their kids that build design mindset and deepen their relationship through co-creation?

October 23, 2015 brainstorm with Melissa Pelochino

October 23, 2015 brainstorm with Melissa Pelochino