Monday, 7 September 2015

Develop a Creative Designer with The Extraordinaires

We love Rory's Story Cubes because it develops creative problem solving and story-telling skills. So when we came across another product by The Creativity Hub we were excited to explore it.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio is a game to develop creative problem solving skills through the process of product design.  It is recommended for 8 to 108 yrs, but I purchased it for my 7 year old son.  He is a keen creative designer and loves drawing imaginative vehicles, gadgets and weapons.

Updated Sept 2016

What's Inside the Design Studio

Opened and ready to goWhen The Extraordinaires Design Studio arrived we couldn't wait to unwrap it and see what was inside.

The kit includes the game cards, a drawing pad and pen, all stowed away in a beautiful blue A4 size plastic case.

The game cards include characters ("The Extraordinaires"),

  • object cards (the "thing" you will design for your character), 
  • think cards (research, design and improve it questions and suggestions) and 
  • award cards (because every good design should receive a great reward).
There are 15 extraordinaires in total, each with unique characteristics and settings to help you with your ideas.

You choose one "object card" to go with your character.  Some of these include a communication device, time keeper or musical instrument.  There are 15 in total so providing a fantastic amount of product design possibilities.

The aim of the game is to create a product for an extraordinary character.  Some of our favourite characters  in the kit includes the Ninja, Vampire Teen, Super Hero and Rap Star.

There are "think cards" to aid the design process, helping to teach the importance of research, design and improvement of an idea.

You can play the game on your own or with family and friends in a multi-player mode.  They have also included different levels for additional challenge.

How did we play the game

Young designer at workMy son (only 7 at the time), was keen to do the singular game.  I sat with him the first time and explained the design process and how he can use the "think cards" to help improve his ideas.

He had a very strong idea initially but I was very impressed how he was able to adjust his idea with the help of the "think cards".

He is a good reader, so was able to read the cards himself. We used our own pencil and colouring pencils (the kit does contain a pen).

He designed a fantasy product rather than something that could actually be manufactured.  I felt for his age this was great, because he was developing the skills to think through the design process.

His product was a classy headband for a girl super hero that provided her with protection from her enemies via a force field that exploded out of the headband when she pressed the jewel on the front. 

Not shabby for a 7 year old.

The next day he picked up the Design Studio himself and went through the game to create a game controller for a teenage vampire.

Design for a game controller for a teenage vampire

The Extraordinaires online and mobile app

You can create an account at The Extraordinaires website and upload your designs. This feature has been replaced with The Extraordinaires app, now available on Andriod and iOS. It allows you to snap a picture of your design and upload to your projects, with voice over descriptions. (Note you need an account to use the app).

There is also a product design challenge included in the kit to unlock "The Extraordinaires Product Design EXPERT" pack by completing 3 levels of product designs. For each level you need to create 10 products and you can either log your progress on the sheets provided in the kit or online at  The only downside with this is you have to have an apple device to create an account and upload your designs. It looks like they provide an iPhone app to upload designs and I couldn't find an Android alternative. The app is now available for Andriod too!

New Extraordinaire Sets

The Extraodinaires Design Studio Pro

The Extraodinaires Design Studio Pro originally designed to inspire professional designers at work, has been adopted by teachers as a learning resource to teach creative thinking. The Pro set contains 120 page designer book and tutorial list, with 720 design challenges, covering five discipline areas, namely, Inventions, Buildings, Vehicles, Clothing and Gadgets. This set is being developed for educational use, and recognised as a great resource for teachers.

The Extraodinaires Design Studio Pocket Edition

The Pocket set is smaller and good for younger kids. Each set (currently Inventions and Buildings) focus on one area and contains, 6 client cards (The Extraordinaires), 6 project cards (what you need to design), 10 think cards (3 step design process of Research, Design and Improve), an Idea pad (includes 40 sheets and refills are available to order), pen and drawing case. The unit is smaller than the Design Studio, so perfect for taking on holiday or on the move. The kit is recommended for ages 10+.

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Erin Vincent said...

This looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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