Friday, 13 November 2015

Khandu Card Game Teaches Kids Design Thinking

khandu card game
Khandu Card Game is a Kickstarter project with a passion to help kids solve anything through creativity. They aim to achieve this goal using a game to take kids through the step-by-step process of design thinking.

At Tech Age Kids we believe design and ideation are important skills for kids to learn. I've written in the past about the Extraordinaires which is another game to develop design skills through product design.

We caught up with the inventors of Khandu to find out more about their game and why they made it.

Khandu launched on Kickstarter in October (we mentioned them in our crowdfunding roundup) and with just under 2 weeks before the end of their campaign, they have already reached their target.

About the Game

Khandu does well to keep their game gender neutral, making sure boys and girls believe they can solve problems using their creativity. The card game consists of 4 different decks:

khandu kickstarter campaign
Image Credit: Khandu
  1. Challenges - 15 kid-friendly, gender-neutral challenges to solve creatively, develop different skills and created with different levels of difficulty, 
  2. Tools - 35 tools for opening the mind, connect with the environment, generate ideas and create amazing prototypes 
  3. People  - 10 members of the Khandus’ Family will be the stars of the challenges. Kids will have to think about them and get to know them deeply to create their solutions
  4. Actions -  creative impulses to help the children to continue the process
The is nicely stored in cloth bag which can be taken anywhere and also includes an activity book for grown-ups with rules, tips and more information.

The characters on the cards look fantastic. Kids would need to be able readers or play with an adult or reading friends. We like the fact kids are encouraged to make their prototypes of their ideas using materials available in their environment. It is only when you start to make something, you can test your designs and find better solutions for new problems exposed.

Khandu: Building little thinkers (subt) from The Papaya Group on Vimeo.

Interview with Inventors

We asked Alexandra and Norberto from Khandu about the importance of design skills for kids and their ideas for the future.

Why do you think design thinking skills are important in this digital age?

When you ask something from a designer, the first thing that he will do is investigate, search references, look around and understand for whom he designs it. In this digital age, it is important keep focus on people, empathize and understand the world around us beyond the screens and devices.

Would you agree design thinking skills are complimentary to computer programming skills? How do you see them work together?

Sure! This response is in line with the previous one. It is important that children learn programming skills, but for us is more important to understand for what and for whom they are programming. 

Design Thinking process could teach children to understand the problem and generate multiple solutions and with programming skills they could build many of these solutions as a digital product.

What advice do you have for parents of children in the tech age?

I would say for them that it is important that children learn to think for themselves. This makes them free and only thus they can take full advantage of all the technology and innovation around them.

We like robots, how will your game fuel an interest in robotics for kids?

We are thinking about developing a special Khandu Kit with special contents and cards to build prototypes with robotic tools. We believe it's an ideal combination which will be welcomed by parents and schools.

We're really looking forward to see how Khandu develops and let's be honest the characters and colours of this game are super cute and fun, who couldn't get creative using them.

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