National child care service provider

Technology-enhanced Instructional Activities

Supporting play-based learning through STEM activities and instructional scaffolding for early learners.


Our client, a large, national childcare service provider, offers an onsite daycare program for families working for corporate clients. The client wanted to explore options for a pilot program based on a “pop up lab” or “innovation station” idea. The goal was to allow opportunities for young children to further explore the ideas, concepts, and technologies in an open-ended and exploration-based format without significantly increasing curriculum material costs. The challenge involved conveying instructions to pre-literate three and four-year-old learners and providing scaffolding for learners with different ability levels.


We created a deck of fifty STEM Activity Cards with each card including an open-ended, play-based activity for three to four-year-old children. Educators can choose different cards from the deck each week, one for each station, and allow children to work independently in small groups like a maker's space. We designed five categories of cards including Architecture, Art & Technology, Chemistry, Design & Engineering, and Robots & Coding. After writing the content, we worked with the client's graphic designer ideating on the visual instructions for pre-literate learners. The cards benefit all 250 children in the center and are labeled as Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced for teachers to offer scaffolded instruction throughout the year.

Activity card example