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Extraordinaires Design Studio Review {Creative Kids Activities}

Timberdoodle is my go-to resource for educational toys and books for children, so I was thrilled to join their blogger team this year. They will be sending me products to review throughout the year – I reviewed one of their preschool products back in March. We are huge fans of Story Cubes, so I was thrilled to be invited to review the Extraordinaires Design Studio, which is made by the same company!

Extraordinaires Design Studio review - such a cool way to get kids thinking about product design! A great STEAM activity for kids.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio is designed for players aged 8 and up. Ten-year-old Emma and eight-year-old Johnny were immediately enthralled with this game! They love the beautifully illustrated character cards.

Extradordinaires Design Studio Review: STEAM Fun for Kids

To play this game, you pick an Extraordinaire character and pair it with an object that they need designed. Think Cards prompt players to add additional details and think about particulars as they work through their designs.

Extraordinaires Design Studio review - how to get kids thinking creatively about design and problem solving!

The Extraordinaires Design Studio is part of Timberdoodle’s Fifth Grade Curriculum Kit, and 10-year-old Emma (going into fifth grade this fall) added the most detail to her designs. I was not at all surprised that my Harry Potter loving daughter picked the Wizard Extraordinaire as her first character to design for. I was very impressed with all the design elements she built into her wizard outfit! The Think Cards that come with the set are wonderful for prompting kids to add in this type of detail.

Kids creatively solve problems and think about design with the Extraordinaires Design Studio

Here is another one of Emma’s design: a luxury habitat for a pirate’s parrot. I love that Emma added in a way for the parrot to record itself – and listen to the radio!

Problem solving in action with the Extraordinaires Design Studio
Eight-year-old Johnny LOVES this design studio! He has designed something every single day this week! Johnny has said several times that he wants to be an inventor when he grows up. The Extraordinaires Design Studio is an excellent way for him to hone his innovative design skills! Right now, Johnny is focusing a lot of attention on learning how to draw his favorite Extraordinaires. I think this is actually a great way for him to learn more about what these characters are like so that he can creative innovative products for them to use.

Extraordinaires Design Studio - easily simplified for younger children

Six-year-old Lily is on the younger end to be using this set. It is no surprise that my sewing-loving girl decided to design outfits for the acrobat card.

Extraordinaires Design Studio review - a fantastic creative design activity for kids

Three-year-old Anna desperately wanted to be part of this activity, but she was feeling overwhelmed at the idea of having to make something for her fairy. Emma helped her get started with an ornate fairy throne.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio is designed for upper elementary aged children aged 8 and above, but it can be an engaging activity for younger children as well.

Some of the cards (vampire teen and evil genius, for example) aren’t our family’s style. There are enough Extraordinaires in the character stack that you can easily remove them, or simply leave them in the bottom of the stack.

I have one small peeve with this product: the paper included is a very random size. It is just barely smaller than A4 paper – about 8 1/4 inches wide and 11 5/8 inches long. This is frustrating, since the product case is sized for this paper and I don’t see them selling replacement pads anywhere. I wish that the product designers would have picked a standard paper size – 8.5 x 11 inches, A4, or even yellow legal pad size. The case that holds the game cards is lovely, with a fabulous magnetic closure. With four children plus friends designing with this set we will go through the paper relatively quickly. Maybe they will sell replacement paper pads?

I was sent the Extraordinaires Design Studio to review as a member of Timberdoodle’s Blog Team. I joined this program because Timberdoodle is one of my favorite places to shop for high quality educational products for my children. All opinions are my own.

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

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