Sector News

Knee High Design Challenge

Using imagination, design and a creative outlook; 6 projects form the Design Council's challenge addressing the needs of the under 5s

Posted: 10/03/2022

Yesterday I had
the pleasure of visiting the Knee High Design Challenge exhibition. It featured
6 entrepreneurial projects aiming to support children under 5s and their
families. This project is specifically focused on Lambeth and Southwark; it is led
by the Design Council in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the
respective councils.

This project
began in the autumn of 2013, with 25 teams given £1000 to develop their ideas.
In winter 11 teams were further funded £10,000. To improve their ideas, in
spring a further 6 teams were given £41,000. Now, in autumn
2014, 3 teams have been rewarded  further funding and support to sustain their
projects, they are Creative Homes, Pop-up Parks and KidsConnect.  

The 6 teams and
their projects, featured in the exhibition, were:

Crafty Explorers

Often from a pop-up shop on a high street, families are encouraged to make a creature, then go and explore the outdoors with missions and incentives to return such as reward
stickers and a takeaway box and book. @CraftyExplorers

Creative Homes

A Lewisham based
social enterprise, and part of The Rainbow Collective, Tea Dance for Little
People are delivering a home visiting service where trained artists work
closely with families to develop playful solutions such as ‘The Clutter
Inspector’ and ‘The Creative Chef’. @TDLP


Is an app which
texts parents different games to play with their children, to build the
child’s character traits. The games are short and sweet, require barely any resources
and are accompanied with a video of another parent/carer and child doing the same
thing. One example was a child playing stepping stones with paper. @easypeasyapp


Another app with
a very different purpose. This app tells you what is going on where you are which is suitable for
the under 5s, including ‘Near me now’ function using your location. The app
will be free for all to use, search and upload events. @KidsConnectApp

Good Enough Mums

This musical follows stories of motherhood from the positive pregnancy test onwards. It is run
by mums for mums and aims at increasing wellbeing. There are workshops and an
online resource. You can watch a trailer online. @GoodEnoughMums

Pop up parks

The team use the potential in underused urban spaces to offer a
range of sensory and physical activities, such as ‘listening posts’. There is a
sustained approach, focusing on one area and delivering over a period of several
months. @PopUpParks

The Design
Council sees design innovation as a way to rethink public services and address
the needs of society ‘The public sector needs to find more efficient and more
effective ways of addressing complex social changes. Design and innovation can

Find out more


By Elizabeth Murton

"Just to say a huge thanks ... I am looking forward to progressing with this project thanks to your support, advice and guidance"

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