The Head Start on Engineering project has recently introduced a new type of resource for families and teachers: Sparks!. These bilingual (Spanish and English) activity ideas are a fun and easy way for families to learn together at home that support preschool-age children’s development and spark family engagement with engineering design. Unlike other Head Start on Engineering activities, these don’t engage families with the entire engineering design process but instead highlight aspects of engineering or specific engineering design thinking skills. The Sparks! activities include three types of family learning contexts: hands-on design challenges (“Hands-On Challenge”), family conversations that support engineering thinking (“Engineering Chat”), and ways of incorporating engineering into everyday life (“Everyday Engineering”).


Click on the images below to download each activity. The Sparks! activities are a work in progress. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, and we look forward to sharing more activity ideas soon.

Hands-On Challenges




Engineering Chats






Everyday Engineering








Head Start on Engineering is funded in part by the National Science Foundation (DRL-1515628), Oregon Community Foundation, Collins Foundation, Boeing Corporation, University of Notre Dame, and Juan Young Trust. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.