Young children are naturally creative. They explore the world around them with curiosity, enthusiasm and wonder. “Why?” is their mantra, as they try to understand how things work. They create countless projects throughout the day from abstract art to blanket fortresses. Unfortunately, while some of these avant-garde designs get displayed on the fridge for a while, the others never make it past a box in the attic. However, it’s important to preserve and nurture children’s creativity, and give them a stake in influencing designs in the real world. We believe children should design for children, and here is why.
1. Children know what works best for them
It’s not uncommon to see preschoolers surrounded by expensive toys, playing with the bubble wrap the toys were packaged in instead. When creating designs for children getting their input and feedback, as well as observing how they interact with the design is vital. Their comments are particularly important when creating spaces where children reside for long periods of time, such as classrooms, schools, playgrounds and so on. After all, it is they who are best able to identify and explain what they like, don’t like, find interesting or boring.
2. They have the best imagination
There is no limit to a child’s imagination. While thinking out of the box is a skill adults need to work on, in a child’s world there is no box. Kids can make up stories about a dinosaur princess who came from out of space, when most adults will struggle to link space exploration with the jurassic period. As a result designs by kids are colorful, vibrant and truly authentic. Therefore, when children design for children, they will inspire and learn from each other in a truly unique way.
3. They are unhindered by practicality issues
“The world is filled with enthusiastic, energetic people. Too bad they’re usually under the age of seven.” – Esa Saarinen, Ph.D, Philosopher and Professor Aalto University, Finland
A child’s journey to discovering the world is not slowed down by preconceptions. Childhood is a magical time when you explore, experience and learn about things for the first time. Therefore, when children design for children they are not held back by the laws of physics or feng shui. They first design with great enthusiasm and passion, leaving the worries of practicality for another day. As a result there are many artists, designers and companies who recreate or replicate children’s designs.
4. Give them a head start in shaping their future
Each child is an individual. Our responsibility is to respect their individuality and prepare them to face the world. We must support them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as interests and aspirations. Design is an excellent area for children to experiment and contribute in a safe and inspiring way. They can tap into their imagination to find creative solutions to make everyday life more pleasant. Moreover, they can learn about creating designs to support the more vulnerable people in their communities. Furthermore, they can identify how to be responsible with the materials they source and respectful with the designs they create. All in all, by allowing children to design for children, we can empower them to be active creators and responsible citizens in the future.
Fun Academy is taking part in the Children’s Design Week 2018. We are involving kids to design learning environments inspired by space and astronauts. Come visit us and see how children design for children!
Discover more Fun Learning ideas, activities and inspirations to support your little ones well-being.