How This Card Game Teaches Kids About Design

The maker of Candy Crush may have just sold for a staggering $5.9 billion, but a new indie card game shows that games have the potential to be more than insanely addictive procrastination aids. Khandu is a card game aimed at helping kids think like designers. Created by Spanish design agency Seven Thinkers, Khandu encourages kids between the ages of 6 and 12 to develop their creativity and problem solving skills through a variety of design challenges.

Khandu is based on the concept of “design thinking.” Fast Company defines design thinking as “a proven and repeatable problem-solving protocol” with four steps: “Define the problem,” “Create and consider many options,” “Refine selected directions,” and “Pick the winner, execute.” Others have broken down the process differently; Mental Floss, for example, highlights a version that has six steps: “understand, observe, define, ideate (brainstorm), prototype, and test.” Khandu helps its young players to learn from an early age how to work through these types of problem solving processes. The game comes with four sets of cards that align with different aspects of the design thinking process. According to the game’s Kickstarter page,

With Khandu, children use their school and neighborhood as their own laboratory, where they learn by observing the people they design for. The challenge push kids to develop an unexpected range of possible solutions, create prototypes, tell stories and test their final designs.

Cards include a variety of challenges, tools, and suggestions, as well as ten “Khandus,” the colorful characters that act as the kids’ “clients.”

Seven Thinkers was founded by Alexandra Valdivieso and Norberto Chio. They explain their motivation in creating Khandu:

We are failing to teach our kids the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.… The public school system has a severe challenge with students’ lack of motivation and we think that design education could and should start earlier…. We aim to create a new concept in education and learning. Activating creative thinking, innovation and the application of new ideas in children's learning by providing the opportunity to build, create, design and play.

Khandu is currently available in both English and Spanish via its Kickstarter page for about $43.

Images: Khandu/Kickstarter (3)