a mother and her child sitting and looking forward
02 | August | 2023

The Power of Design Thinking in School Education | A Guide for Parents

Our top priority as parents is to provide our children with critical skills that will serve them well throughout their life. Among these, Design Thinking emerges as a potent problem-solving and child development methodology. Originating in the world of design, Design Thinking has now found applications in various domains, holding immense potential for our school children. By promoting empathy, creativity, and teamwork, parents can help their children become good problem solvers and critical thinkers. Encouraging the application of Design Thinking in both academic and everyday situations sets children on a path towards a brighter and more successful future.

In this article, let us delve into the concept of Design Thinking and explore practical ways parents can introduce and encourage this valuable approach in their children's lives.

Understanding Design Thinking

Design Thinking stands as a human-centric problem-solving approach that places significant emphasis on understanding the needs and perspectives of others. It follows a structured process consisting of five key stages. The initial stage involves active listening and observation to gain a profound understanding of the challenges and experiences faced by others. Through empathy, children develop a deeper appreciation for the concerns encountered by their peers, teachers, or even themselves.

a mother and her child playing color blocks

In the subsequent stage, children reframe the identified problem into a concise and clear statement, providing focus and direction for generating effective solutions. The ideation stage encourages brainstorming and out-of-the-box thinking, nurturing creativity as children learn that problems can have multiple solutions. Moving forward, the prototype stage entails creating simple and low-cost prototypes of potential solutions, fostering experimentation and an understanding of the importance of iterating and refining concepts. Finally, the last stage involves testing the prototypes with the intended users to gather feedback and insights, which further inform improvements and iterations.

Practical Ways to Incorporate Design Thinking in Children's Lives

Cultivate Empathy

Parents can teach their children empathy by exposing them to a variety of experiences and encouraging them to consider the feelings and emotions of others. Activities such as traveling to new countries, volunteering, and reading literature with diverse perspectives can be quite beneficial in developing empathy.

Create a Safe and Creative Environment

Design Thinking thrives in a secure and creative environment. Parents should create a welcome environment at home where children may express themselves without fear of being judged. Encouraging open conversations and brainstorming sessions can promote free thinking and creativity.

Pose Real-Life Challenges

Presenting real-life challenges that resonate with children will pique their interest and engagement in Design Thinking. Parents can discuss challenges in their children's schools, neighborhoods, or personal life with them and guide them through the Design Thinking process to find solutions.

a child drawing with a color chalk

Foster Collaboration

Collaboration lies at the core of Design Thinking. Parents can encourage their children to collaborate with siblings, peers, or family members on problem-solving activities. Collaboration enables youngsters to learn from others, respect different points of view, and build strong collaboration abilities.

Provide Access to Resources

Provide your youngster with the resources he or she needs for prototyping and experimentation. Simple things such as painting supplies, recycled goods, or computer tools can help children bring their ideas to reality.

Celebrate the Process and Growth

Emphasize that the process is just as important as the end result in Design Thinking. Celebrate your child's efforts and promote a growth mentality, emphasizing that failures are stepping stones to success.

The Role of the Wayne MacDonald's Children Safety & Survival Program (CSS Program)

As part of the curriculum, the CSS Program offers specialized parent-child Design Thinking workshops for Parents and School Counsellors, in addition to specific practical-based classroom sessions with children in schools. These workshops, facilitated by industry experts, can immensely benefit both Parents and School Counsellors in numerous ways.

For starters, parents can obtain a greater understanding of Design Thinking ideas and approaches, allowing them to more successfully assist their children in problem-solving, creative thinking, and empathy. Parents can discover practical implementations of Design Thinking in numerous industries by engaging with industry experts during the session, extending their view on its real-world applicability.

parents in a seminar hall

Similarly, school counselors might benefit from this course by utilizing Design Thinking as a method to address students' emotional and academic issues in a more sensitive and inventive manner.

By initiating such implementable & highly practical workshops, the CSS Program encourages fostering collaboration between parents, counsellors, and experts, thereby creating a supportive and knowledge-based network focused on nurturing students' holistic growth. Overall, this experience empowers parents and counsellors alike to create a positive and enriching educational environment that fosters students' development and prepares them for future success.


As parents, embracing Design Thinking in our children's lives can be a transformative approach to equip them with crucial skills for the future. By cultivating empathy, promoting creativity, and fostering collaboration, parents can play a significant role in preparing their children to face challenges with resilience and ingenuity, paving the way for a fulfilling and rewarding journey ahead. Through the practical implementation of Design Thinking, parents can create a supportive and empowering educational environment that nurtures their children's holistic growth, setting them on a path towards success in both their personal and professional lives.