Drop in on Design at Home: Earth Day edition | A kid’s guide to helping the planet through design

What does it mean to be green in design? Join us for a special Earth Day edition of Drop In On Design At Home. In this hands-on workshop designed for ages 5-12, participants will explore Cooper Hewitt’s collection to discover how designers are utilizing nature to create sustainable and innovative design solutions that help tackle real-world challenges facing our planet. Then, participants will be challenged to think big as they brainstorm and prototype their own designs inspired by the natural world.


This intergenerational program is designed for children ages 5-12, but all are welcome to join.  Participate as a family or kids can join on their own to learn more about the basic principles and elements of design. This is a beginner workshop facilitated by a museum educator. No prior experience in design is required to participate. 


Participants have the option to prototype a design solution using materials from around their home. If you are interested in prototyping, please collect materials prior to the workshop and have them ready for the program. Participation in all activities is possible without additional materials. Optional worksheets to organize and spark ideas will be provided prior to the program, but you can also use paper and any writing tools generate and record your ideas.

Suggested Materials to Design a 2-dimensional Prototype

  • Writing and drawing utensils
  • Paper

Suggested Materials to Design a 3-dimensional Prototype

  • Scissors
  • Masking tape, scotch tape, or glue/glue stick
  • Cardboard
  • Food packaging or containers
  • Construction Paper
  • String
  • Any material that isn’t already in use, especially if it will go in the trash otherwise!


This free program will feature an object exploration led by a museum educator, followed by a hands-on activity. It will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes live CART captioning. For general questions, or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodation to support your participation in this program, please email us at CHEducation@si.edu or let us know when registering. Please make your accommodation request as far in advance as possible—preferably at least one week before the program date when possible. 

Special Thanks

Drop in on Design is made possible with major support from The Hirsch Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.