Family Activity Kits

The Head Start on Engineering program focuses on creating fun engineering learning experiences for the whole family at home. Each family that participates gets a set of bilingual (Spanish/English) take-home activity kits that help engage children and adults in the engineering design process. Each activity focuses on a hands-on engineering design challenge and includes:

  • A storybook or song selected to launch the activity and create an age-appropriate, imaginative design context for young children;
  • Simple materials that can be easily reused, replaced, and supplemented; and
  • A parent facilitation guide with instructions and extension ideas.

Click on the images below to learn more about each activity.

Fox and Hen

Fort Building

Available in Spanish here.

Families build a tower to protect a hen and her nest from a hungry fox. This challenge is based on the book, Oh No, A Fox!, and the song, Pollitos Dicen.  Bilingual activity guide available here.

Available in Spanish here.

Families design and build a fort where the family can read together. This challenge is based on the book, Little Red Fort. Bilingual activity guide available here.


Dragon Tacos

Mouse Run

Available in Spanish here.

Families work together to design a process for making as many of their favorite tacos as they can in two minutes. This activity is based on the book, Dragons Love Tacos. Bilingual activity guide available here.

Available in Spanish here.

Families use tubes and other household materials to help a “mouse” (small ball) escape a cat, collect food, and get back to its family. This challenge is based on the book, How to Catch a Mouse. Bilingual activity guide available here.

The activity kits are designed for the whole family, including adults, preschool-age children, and other family members and friends. It’s easy to adapt and expand the activities to your own family’s needs and interests. The activity kits also provide a model for other family learning experiences—like finding new storybooks that inspire engineering design challenges using everyday materials around the house.


He’s exploring more in the engineering world, now that we know it’s not just for adults. Since the program, we have had more awareness of the steps of engineering. We talk about it quite a bit. A lot of the time, when we are building, we talk about the steps.”

– Head Start parent