Design Tasks you can do with Children

  • The lockdowns created as a result of Covid-19 have impacted family life. While nurseries and childcare settings have been closed, many of us have been forced to work while trying to keep occupied.

    While graphic design is a technical skill which does require concentration, there are things you can do to be productive with your child nearby. You absolutely won’t be able to nail an entire brief, but you’ll be able to at least keep in touch with your project until you find some peace and quiet.

    1. Textual Research

      If your local library is open, take your children. Scan the shelves for books on the subject matter you’re researching. You may even see something you hadn’t thought of before, but it could inspire the direction of your project.

    2. Sketching

      If your child is old enough, sit them with you for some drawing time. They can draw while you knock out some quick concepts.

    3. Real-world research.

      Find a way to incorporate your subject into a fun activity. Perhaps if you’re designing a new logo for a coffee brand, take your kids for a babycino and muffins while you check out how others have solved a similar brief. Likewise, if museums or art galleries near you are open, take them while being intentional about your research.

    4. Get your kids to check your work.

      Clear communication is the crux of successful logo design. You have to create recognisable images. If you have any string contenders for a logo design, ask your kids what they think of them. As children can be brutally honest, you’ll appreciate this candidness which you might not receive from a client. I did this with my icon design for the Rowland Hill Fund. My two year old recognised my pillar box design. If a toddler understands a logo, then it’s going to communicate well to everyone else too.

    5. Story time

      Childrens’ books are richly illustrated. Glean colour combinations and shapes during story time. Likewise, sort through their clothes. I’ve noticed that childrenswear designers have the best eye for colour combinations of anyone. Snap a quick photo with your phone of pages you like and take these as inspiration later.

    While all of these tips have to be moulded around your brief and the age and ability of your children, I hope they serve as a good starting point for you to joyfully keep your mind occupied while keeping lockdown interesting for your little ones. Always check local guidance for which venues are open in advance.

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    Grace Abell is a York graphic designer and a mum to a three-year-old daughter. Take a look at Grace’s design work here.