sparking creative confidence in kids

What would happen if we let kids design their own toys? What kind of toys would they come up with? Well, let’s find out… 

This project explores the areas of participatory design with children, striving to create partnerships rather than test subjects or lab rats. We use the toy design process to help develop kids’ creativity and confidence. Through an interactive blog and a summer camp, we design toys together by following three simple steps; Think it, Draw it, Build it. The rest of the details are put into the kids’ amazingly capable little hands.

Playful Factory is a blog I ran for several years that provided resources and motivation for kids to design and make their own toys. PF still lives on as an occasion design workshop at the local children’s museum or elementary school.

Here is a sample of the site I developed for engaging with the kids:

My favorite toy that any of the kids ever created was by a 5 year old. He wanted to make a paper airplane with jets. So he had his older brother help him make the plane and then he taped bubble wands to the wings. He then would dip the wants and throw the plane. It became a staple activity of each workshop or camp we ran after that.

Try making your own bubble jet stream paper airplane