Sunday, November 13, 2016

Careers in Art- Toy Designer

The third grade continues on their #CareersInArt series. In this lesson, I have asked my students to become toy designers. They were pumped for this challenge. 

I am always surprised what stations the kids are drawn to.  Each class is different too... Some classes will have lots of kids at the shadow puppets and the next class no one will be there.  I really can't tell why students choose what they do, but it's fun to observe. 

The puzzles were amazing.  When I talked about this option I really stressed craftsmanship.  The kids took a lot of time on their image and I found most of them didn't have time to cut the puzzle out. The best part about this was in our review the following week, several students explained that they made puzzles for family members.  I love when you can teach kids something they can create as a give for a loved one... it's empowering to them.


The collaboration I saw at the shadow puppet station was fun to watch.  I loved hearing the stories they were creating.  Even more exciting was the problem solving.  I found that students had to discover how to create details inside their creations without drawing.  Almost all students would draw a face on their figures and then wonder why it wasn't showing up on the shadow.  It always took some peer teaching and discovery to understand that they had to cut out the details in order to let the light shine through.  This was a great station for discovery.



I have an overwhelming amount of cardboard tubes in my storage area.  This is truly treasures for my students. They loved the freedom to create using colored papers and any adhesive that worked best for them.  This station was filled with creativity and energy.  Each toy had a story behind it.  The toys were played with as they were being created.  The kids were so excited... SO Excited... to bring these treasures home.  This was another lesson that students said they created at home. Always a win when they make it at home.

The last station was the IKEA stuffed toy design.  I explained to the class that they could design a stuffed toy and IKEA will choose a couple to actually produce and offer in their store for sale.  The hard part was that I was not able to submit these designs.  So I created a little worksheet that explained the link to parents and allowed them to submit the designs to the company.  Actually, it took a lot of pressure off me.  I really didn't think that any would have been entered, but I saw on Facebook from one of the families I work with that yes indeed... one of my student's works are now in the competition! How exciting. If you would like to vote for Olivia's owl (image below) Please visit the website (click here) Search for Olivia's work by typing in her number = 289105.


  1. Nic, why don't you write an article for SchoolArts about this?

    1. I'm gathering data :) Really, I have plans to start writing articles and branching out a bit more after I finish up a few classes I'm taking. I'm am almost completed with all the class I will ever HAVE to take.. then I just have one that I want to take.