When introducing Design Thinking to children, it’s important to include the “empathy” part of the process. Sometimes, it is easier for students to practice this with fictional characters before they begin applying it to real people. I’ve curated a collection of both free (green) and paid (purple) resources that offer character cards you can print out to distribute to students so that when they are designing they have a “client” in mind. If you would like some suggestions for books and videos to help teach empathy, Joelle Trayers has several blog posts that address this topic.
- Younger students will enjoy these Adorable free printable from Krissy Venosdale of literary characters
- The City X Toolkit includes dozens of fictional character cards that can be printed out for free. (For more information about City X, you can read my blog post here.)
- Jackie Gerstein created a “Maker Education Card Game” that you can view and use for free here.
- The Extraordinaires series has different kits at several price points. You can read more about it in my post here.
- Khandu is a set of cards that I purchased awhile ago in a crowd-funding campaign. Like Extraordinaires, it includes characters and challenges. My set also includes “Ideation,” “Inspiration,” “Action,” and “Prototyping” cards. It’s a pretty comprehensive pack of 70 full color, thick cards. Although the pricing is in euros, you can also purchase it through PayPal.