Design Thinking in Early Child Education

We have made several advances in a child’s education. Brightly lit open collaborative learning workspaces now replace dark classrooms, blackboards, and rows of wooden desks.

New revolutionary teaching philosophies are making their way in pedagogy and early childhood education. 

Let us explore one of such next-generation asset, Design Thinking.

Design Thinking is a Multistep approach

There are five stages of design thinking - Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.  

Empathize - With Situation and Users

The child at this stage is presented with an opportunity to synthesize the information gathered from the “Empathize” stage. She then forms a problem statement. The goal of this step is to define a primary user and the problem statement. 

Define - Primary Problem and User

The next step defines the problem after synthesizing the information that she had gathered from the “Empathize” stage. She forms a problem statement. The goal of this step is to define a primary user and the problem statement. 

Ideate - Challenge Assumptions and Brainstorming

The child at this stage finds alternative problems, and innovative solutions to solve the problem. She will brainstorm different theories and challenge them simultaneously.

Prototype - Build Experimental Solutions

The child will now build one or more solutions. She is encouraged to find small and rapid solutions to solve the problem.


She will test the prototypes at this step. She will use the results from the test to redefine the problem.

Design Thinking is a Non-Linear Process

Traditional education provides a linear set of instructions. Children learn theory in a textbook and memorize it. Using Design Thinking principles, children build a solution with multiple iterations, changes, and refinements.

It is a nimble and continuous process. It is an alternate mindset to solve a problem.

Tensor Cards promote Design Thinking 

Tensor Cards are built on the principles of design thinking. The child can pick any numbers of cards from the deck to accomplish the goal of the game

These cards have tones for Empathy for the Problem, Definition steps to achieve the goals, Ideation steps, Prototyping, and its benefits, and finally Testing the process. The freedom of creating alternate steps through Creation cards liberates them from boxed processes.

The Guide markers encourage children to loop through the problems, prototypes, and tests until they are confident in the process. 

If you are an educator, please contact us to set up collaborative efforts for Design Thinking plays for your classroom.