DIY Play Kit

January - April 2018

For this project, we partnered with grade 5 students attending KGMS, a “second-choice” school which means it’s an alternative if your child doesn’t get accepted to any other school because they can’t meet the schools criteria.

Alot of the students had one of the following learning differences: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, autism, ADD or ADHD. Designing with these differences in mind was the premise of the project. As designers we knew we needed to approach working with students differently so we made a list:

Be compassionate 

Don't assume

Show high interest

Direct instruction

Explain things relevant to real life

Avoid wordiness

Think universal

Use lots of visuals

The first step of this project was to create a co-creation kit to gather more information on the students we were working with. We were assigned 3 students: Jordan, Jack & Atlin. When we received the kit back, we learned alot about their personality. Some of them took time to do everything neatly, while others rushed through it suggesting they are impatient. Some of them copied each others work, while others weren't afraid to think different. Here are some things we learnt about the students:

Jack: hyper energetic, open, not afraid, impatient

Jordan: energetic, leader, adventurous, patient

Atlin: quiet, introvert, shy, unique, different, patient

After about a month, we finally got to meet the students in person to design with them. We brought a bunch of materials and collaborated with the students to build things using basic materials like rope, cotton swaps, rocks etc.. They were builders and loved experimenting. This is when an idea sparked. 

Our DIY Play Kit consisted of 3 different compartments which would each contain different tools and materials to help our co-creators build whatever they imagine. The kit contains modified everyday objects such as: rope with metal rings in it (makes it easier to connect 2 pieces of rope), connectors (a combination of pegs and hooks to make it easier to connect ropes together or stick the to the ground), etc... The box itself can be used as a tool to create activities. It will contain two surfaces with multiple holes to make it easier to connect to different objects. To further inspire our co-creators, we supplied them with a manual that contains different ideas of different activities and games they can build. Our goal is to give our co-creators the fundamental materials for building these activities but also giving them the freedom to modify them however they'd like.


©2020 by Joshua Cirjak.