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The Extraordinaires Design Studio: Deluxe

Lower Age: 10+
Website: http://extraordinaires.com
Price: $39.95
Year Added: 2016

The Extraordinaires Design Studio Deluxe is a single player or multiplayer game that challenges users to design an object for a larger-than-life client. Players pick a client, whose profile and interests are laid out on a card. After a client has been chosen, players select an object card. This card lets the player know what their client needs designed for them. Players study their client card to learn more about who their client is, what their needs are, and the world they live in. Next they use what they learn to create a design plan on the provided idea pad. The game also includes research, design and improve cards to help players think of good questions throughout the design process. Once their designs are complete the players present them. Players are encouraged to use the feedback they receive to make improvements. The game also contains award cards that can be handed out whether you are playing alone or with others. The game leaves room for a great deal of creativity for players, but also provides loose guidelines to follow to give players a rough idea of how they should approach the problem.

This game requires players to critically and creatively think about the requirements of the objects they must draw and design. Players must take into consideration a variety of factors, including their client’s needs, additional challenges presented on the character card, and the object’s function. The wide variety of clients and objects to design allows for endless fun with tons of possible combinations.

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encouraged children to do or learn about: Define a problem, learn about the problem, ask questions, make observations, generate ideas, make improvements to the solution, communicate the solution, refine ideas, create a prototype or process, analyze the solution, redesign the solution, optimize the solution, recognize patterns

Engineering text or context explicitly provided: A problem, a client, a user, constraints, criteria

Additional engineering thinking and design skills addressed: Creative thinking, problem solving, design

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
    • Feedback: “I like design. I like the characters. I like the pictures on the back. They are pretty.”
  • Parents Reviews
    • Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “This gift is accessible to kids of different ages.”
      • “Playing this game is a good way to reminds kids of the value of creative thinking. Also empathy - thinking about others and their needs.”
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews:
    • Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5.0
    • Feedback: “The task of this toy is to design a product for a client. You have to structure your design based on the needs, lifestyle, and career of the client. It asks questions about design and how to improve your product; it tells you to research and think about what exactly the client needs. This toy does a good job of making the user think about how to best design a product based on the client and research into that client.”