Sparks! Activities Kits
Sparks! are fun and easy activity ideas for families to learn together at home. They support preschool-age children’s development and “spark” family engagement with engineering design. Unlike the Head Start on Engineering activity kits [link], these don’t necessarily engage families with the entire engineering design process [link] but instead highlight aspects of engineering or specific engineering design thinking skills. There are three types of Sparks! activities:
- Hands-on challenge—These ideas involve building or creating something to solve a design challenge.
- Engineering chat—These ideas are meant to inspire family conversations that help children practice engineering design thinking skills. They can be used at the dinner table, traveling in the car, on a walk, or anytime you have a chance to talk together as a family.
- Everyday engineering—These ideas show ways that we use engineering design in our everyday lives or inspire families to incorporate engineering design thinking into everyday activities.
Click on the images below to download a PDF of each activity. And let these ideas inspire your own engineering design challenges!
Can you build a two-foot tower?
Can you build a two-foot tower to hold a book?
Can you build a chair for your favorite toy?
Can you create a booster seat for your favorite toy?
What else could you use this for?
What would solve this problem?
What makes a great day for you?
Can you help a friend design a garden?
Can you improve a family recipe?
Can you guide someone to a hidden treasure?
Can you create a play structure for a pet?