Which foods do you find yummy or yucky? How might we persuade someone to try a food that might be yucky? In this hands-on intergenerational workshop for children ages 5­–12, participants will use line, shape, and color to design a persuasive food advertisement of their own inspired by the work of designer, E. McKnight Kauffer. Known as “the poster king,” Kauffer created eye catching advertisements that can be seen at Cooper Hewitt as part of the exhibition, Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer


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 design a 2-dimensional advertisement using everyday materials from their home. If you are interested in designing a collaged or mixed-media advertisement, please collect materials prior to the workshop and have them ready for the workshop. Participation in all activities is possible without additional materials. You can use paper and any writing tools generate your own shapes, and to record your brainstorming ideas.

Suggested Materials to Brainstorm a Poster Advertisement

  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Paper
  • A writing tool

Suggested Materials to Design a Mixed-Media Poster Advertisement

  • Scissors
  • Tape, glue, or glue stick
  • Thin and easy to cut cardboard packaging
  • Found materials like string, fabric, or buttons
  • Construction Paper
  • Collect or cut out interesting shapes, text, and images from used newspapers, magazines, thin cardboard boxes or paper


This free program will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions, or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation, please email CHEducation@si.edu or let us know when registering.

2021 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.