Internet Resources for KS1/2 Design & Technology

BA Primary Education

Author: David Harrison

School of Education,

Prifysgol Glyndwr, Glyndwr University,

WREXHAM / WRECSAM, LL11 2AW, North Wales.

This page was last updated: 08/04/13

Click HERE to return/go to BA Education Science & ICT Help Pages (NEWI).

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The National Curriculum Documents

The Welsh Document: Design & Technology - Wales (pdf file)

The English Document: Design & Technology - England

DfES: The Standards Site: Primary Design and Technology where you will find schemes of work including:

or you can download the complete set of units as word or pdf files at Download: Design and technology at key stages 1 and 2 also worth looking at is the DfES Parents page at Help Your Child Discover... designing and making.

Do not be afraid to be creative and adapt the DfES work schemes two adapted DfES D&T schemes can be found at The Standards Site: Adapting units.

Whilst many of these resources are "Art and Craft" resources there can be found amongst them many hundreds of ideas that you will find useful in the Primary Classroom and remember Information Technology is a part of Design and Technology!

All the links worked on July 2003 but the Internet is a very dynamic place, web sites come and web sites go. Please let me know of any links that do not work.

Make this resource list better! If, whilst looking through these resources, especially the ones that list lots of different activities, you find one that is particularly attractive or easy or great for D&T or is a good cross-curricular activity then e-mail me the URL ( at or at and I'll add it to this list.

***** FIVE STAR SITE *****

Firstly and probably the best, there is the Nuffield Primary Design & Technology resources site at Primary D&T where you will find a complete series of classroom ready D&T lesson plans (as Adobe Acrobat files with plug-in available). They are mainly based around food technology (Fruit salad, How do you like your toast?, Apple tasting, Baking bread etc.) but Roly Poly is a superb 20 page KS1 controlling mechanisms activity and Fabulous Flowers is a 15 page KS2 activity involving looking at real flowers and then making realistic artificial flowers with textiles, straws, pipe-cleaners etc. Print off the Adobe Acrobat files on a colour printer and you have superb resources and its all free!!! This is QUALITY D&T and no mistake!

DATA The Design and Technology Association

DATA is The Design And Technology Association and if you select "curriculum focus" on the The Design and Technology Association home page you will link to several useful pages for teachers and trainees and details of how to purchase lesson plans, DATA help-sheets etc., though there is free sample help-sheet to accompany the DfES D&T scheme KS2 Unit 4E "Lighting it up". Those of you who aspire to being D&T coordinator will find membership of DATA useful. DATA also publishes "The Design and Technology Primary Coordinator's File" which exceedingly useful and not just for d&t coordinators.  Membership is FREE for trainees providing they sign a direct debit mandate for DATA membership to commence in their first year of teaching (£40 using direct debit).

Design Wales/Dylunio Cymru

Design Wales Design Wales / Dylunio Cymru provides comprehensive advice and support services on all issues relate to design. Design Wales is a partner to Business Connect and is funded by the National Assembly for Wales with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

In addition to work with industry, Design Wales supports the delivery of design-related education in Wales by visiting schools and distributing case study material.

Currently available free to schools in Wales on CD ROM are;

D&T Down Under

An excellent web site from Australia Technology Education has two very good D&T projects at lower (Lumpy Bumpy Books) and upper (Powering On) primary level.

ICT in Design and Technology

KS2 children competent in ICT might like to design their own "trademark" logo for some "product" they have made at CoolText. It is free and it's easy to design a logo in a wide range of styles, fonts, colours, sizes etc. and then save it as an image file to your local disc for printing or incorporation into documents, pictures, web pages etc. I designed the logo below with CoolText. Teachers might like to use it to prepare snazzy banners or titles for displays.

A very useful checklist of how to incorporate ICT into design and technology can be found at DT & ICT and some other useful links for ICT can be found at Supporting ICT Design and Technology , thanks to Alison Tanner and Kathy Smedley for those links.

Use the Internet to e-mail your friends a musical greetings card at REGARDS.COM. Design your card by choosing from dozens of different celebrations and selecting from a huge range of pictures, select a suitable musical accompaniment (hopefully the recipient has a PC with sound card fitted), type in your personal greeting (literacy skills here!), preview your work and finally decide on what date you want to send it. I suspect IT-literate kids, myself included, will have lots of fun with this one.

Other card making sites form which you can send animated, musical e-greetings cards are at to be found at Cyber Surfer Card Shopat eFun Greeting Cards and at Santa letter .

For some free Christmas clip art try  Christmas Clipart and for more clip art try Barry's Clipart Server.

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Some links here to freeware downloads that could be used to help children in the design process by using computers to design road/traffic layouts Children's programs and an excellent simple computer based drawing package aimed at children Free Software. Use the PC and printer to design and make greetings cards My Card Maker, and postcards My Postcard Maker.

Some design software is available at LEGO Digital Designer though your PC needs a fairly high specification to operate the software successfully and I find the screen lay-out and general use far from intuitive and the program tends to cause my PC to freeze.

Also if you find it difficult or your school hasn't the equipment to do control technology then try some on-line simulation of control technology at ROBOLAB-on-line from Lego Educational division. You have to subscribe to the site or buy a CD for access to the on-line simulations but you can try out an on-line demonstration.  Thanks to Daniel Eames-Hughes for this link.

Some CAD software from an unlikely source IKEA! You can down load kitchen designer and office designer which allows you to develop interior design skills and the built in 3-D viewer allows you to have realistic views of your design and you can pan and tilt the view. The downloads can be obtained from IKEA | Kitchen guide and IKEA | office IKEA planning tools .

Design and Technology and Literacy

Here are two related sites for developing pupils' design skills and literacy skills (non-fictional writing) and which will help children produce a brochures/newsletters that may genuinely useful marketing material for school/class activities. Free, quite easy to use, it allows children/teachers to make guided design decisions and develops their ICT skills, the only drawback is that it will empty colour inkjet cartridges at an alarming rate. Have a look at My Brochure Maker and My Newsletter Maker and many thanks to Glenn Malcolm for drawing my attention to these sites.

See also the various book-making links in the section  below on paper technology.

Sites with a variety of ideas and activities

An excellent site with over 100 downloadable pictorial .pdf files covering a huge range of D&T resources, skills, techniques and ideas can be found at Staffordshire design and Technology Education Programme (STEP) at  STEP. Why not download them all and save them. Thank you to Jo Baines for this link.

A site with a wealth of great D&T resources is at the Northumberland Grid for Learning D&T.

The NAAIDT Project Exchange is an excellent source of ideas and projects for D&T recognised by the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in Design and Technology NAAIDT: Home Page .

Two excellent sites from the West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium are Crossover Project Design Challenge and Tools & Skills Video Clips. The latter is especially good and has 35 short video clips viewable in a suitable media player that show a whole range of useful D&T construction skills. Thanks to both Nadine Wilde and Lynne Brown for this link.

The Lighthouse for Education has a list of web sites similar to this
Design Technology, The Lighthouse for Education.

Visit the SunSmart (Cancer Research) SunSmart Teaching Resources for lesson ideas on designing "sun protectors" and SunSmart pop-up books.

Look at NGfL Cymru GCaD for some key stage 2 activities Design and Technology  (although the National Grid for Learning NGfL is defunct and has been absorbed into BECTA this site, minus the NGfL logo, is still operating).

An almost endless list of resources suitable for science, arts, crafts, D&T and the rest of the curriculum can be found at ENCHANTED LEARNING this is a ***** site! Here you will find cut out and colour pictures plants, animals, insects, fishes, etc., lots of craft ideas, books to print, colour and assemble, dictionaries, find out about inventors and explorers, nursery rhyme print-outs and colouring activities, pre-school activities. It's American in content but lost of useful stuff all the same. Let them have your e-mail address and they will e-mail you weekly with "What's New" and seasonal activities.

Long Mead County Primary School in Kent link to this site and their site Long Mead Virtual Library - DESIGN TECHNOLOGY has several useful links including one to Kids' Kitchen where you might find useful inspiration for food technology.

To complement to the DfEE Standards site there is Educate the Children  / Teacher Zone / Classroom / Design & Technology where you will find some schemes of work covering several lessons that are closely linked to the QCA schemes of study. You will also find a design challenge sheet, a chart of d&t skills development in handling materials, and other useful pages for d&t at this site.

D.T. Teaching Ideas is another useful site with ten suggestions for activities suitable for the primary classroom for KS1 and KS2 and includes a simple weaving activity using wool and two lolly sticks Weaving with Lolly Sticks that can be taught as a focused practical task to KS1 and has scope for design and make activities.

Aimed more at key stages 3 & 4 but where you may find inspiration for challenging year 6 children at technologystudent.

Isle of Wight Educational (eduwight) service have some schemes of work based on the QCA/DfES schemes at Design and Technology Curriculum Key Stages 1,2 and 3

The Kid's Domain site also has lots of Craft and Gift ideas that could be used as the basis for a design and make activity in primary design and technology with lots of excellent ideas for seasonal gifts and celebrations, have a look at Kid's Domain Craft Exchange.

It is always difficult to decide where Arts and Crafts ends and Design and Technology begins but these two Entomology (Insect Science) inspired craft activities from the University of Kentucky could be used for design and make activities and use lots of natural materials (acorns, sycamore spinners etc.) Sticks, Leaves, Seeds . . . and Insects and Insect Art and Ornaments nice for making different autumn wall displays.

If you want a resource pack on CD ROM for your own personal use or to buy for the school then have a look at Egghead Publications. The activities of the CD ROM include pneumatics that I didn't cover in the classes. You can also download a free sample activity "Circus in Town" at the site.

Paper Technology

Download-a-Dinosaur is exactly what it says. A site where you can find triceratops and stegosaurus and can download images to cut out. If you print them directly onto coloured craft card, then with scissors and glue you have an almost instant dinosaur! Not too difficult to cut out and excellent for the children to practice their fine motor skills with scissors! From the sister-site Download-a-Dragon and  Karl Marx and Other Dolls you can also download cut out Revolutionaries (Joan of Arc, Karl Marx, Che Guevara, Spartacus etc.), a Norman foot soldier (cut out 3500 of them and you have an army!) and a splendid St. George with a terrifying dragon.

This link shows you how to make a simple cut and folded Treasure Boxes. Thanks to Sian Dixon for this link.

If you cannot remember how to make a basic pop-up card then visit Joan Irvine at the Makers' Gallery where there is an on-line extract from her book at Joan Irvine. Illustrated with ideas for turning the pop-up mouth into a frog or lion (with teeth!) - easy if you have "pinking shears" (scissors with zig-zag blades for cutting cloth). Also see Pop Up Cards.

For more information on pop-ups including the history and a useful pop-up template visit Pop-up Books.

Here are the instructions for the "no glue, no staple, no stitching" book made from a single sheet of paper make a paper bag book and here you can find an electronic template for the same basic book, type in title, author, choose you page layout for each page, enter text/graphics and finally print out your book ready for cutting/folding.

A lovely template for IDEAs is a cute little old fashioned Circus Book.

A great site for making books is to be found at Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's with lots of simple paper book designs suitable for a focused practical task which the children can then take forward in a design and make activity. Also see the related Kid's Page. Many of Susan's book-making books are available as e-books which are relatively inexpensive (£5 to £10 payable by Paypal) and can be downloaded to your computer. Other bookmaking sites include Making Books with Children with a short video on making simple paper books and Paper University and  Let's book it with Tech"knowledge"y .

Two excellent books about book making are:

A Book of One's Own: developing literacy through making books, Paul Johnson, Hodder & Stoughton (out of print but you might find it second hand ISBN 0-340-53352-8 and 0-340-72480-3) and

Making Books: Over 30 Practical Book-Making Projects for Children, Paul Johnson, A & C Black, ISBN 0-713-65077-X .

Any Jewish children in your school might appreciate this site for making paper Dreidel pop-up cards at KD Craft Exchange - Paper Dreidels.

A wonderful range of great paper toys to simply cut out and assemble is to be found at Free Paper Toys and whilst not D&T there are items here that can be taken as IDEAs for FPTs or DMAs.

An ambitious whole class project is to make a make carousel of paper, striped plastic drinking straws, etc., with full instructions at Classroom Carousel. Even if you do not make the carousel there are animal cut out masters that can be down-loaded and printed off (horse, stork, giraffe, frog, tiger, pig, etc.) that would be useful in other D&T work.

Not so much a site with things to make so much as a site that will sell you books containing things to make - a gold mine for paper technologists whhho are into education with lots of mathematics and science based paper resource books and pop-up books to make along with books on pop-up technology. What's more it is a UK based site so go on visit Tarquin Books from where you can send for their latest catalogue, post-free, by completing a simple web-based form.

Mechanisms and Vehicles

An excellent "on-line" resource that would be great for teaching mechanisms and structures at upper KS2 is Animated Work Sheets by Nick Woodrow a DT teacher and features large clear animations of simple mechanisms, including cams, levers, etc. The site also has help on perspective and technical drawing. Thanks to Caroline Phillips for that great link.

Wigan Schools on line have an excellent page of resources for d&t featuring making a basic vehicle chassis complete with an electric motor or other propulsion system, how to make a cam mechanism, guidance on the use of tools, and an excellent resource list for those following the QCA D&T scheme of work. Well worth a visit at Wigan Schools online - Curriculum Resources.

Another UK D&T site which doesn't have much in the way of primary activities but which illustrates the importance of D&T in many aspects of the commercial world and also explains many mechanisms (levers, cams, pulleys etc.) found in d&t projects, is the Design and Technology Online.

For a simple vehicle (without wheels) suitable for making in a pre-school/reception environment and which could then be used as a lead into why we use wheels see Egg Carton Dump Truck.

For an excellent simple guide to several mechanisms, including levers, gears, pulleys, slopes etc. have a look at Marvelous Machines where you will find simple activities that help in the understanding of how simple mechanisms work and which would be useful for science investigations as well as in helping understand mechanisms. Machines basically make our lives easier and another excellent guide to simple machines and mechanisms can be found at Machines.

For a very simple guide to three types of levers and a very simple experiment that should enable to children to understand the advantages of using a lever try SMART96 LEVER. For an on-line simulation (you can run it off-line when the java applet has loaded) of how a 1st class lever works including a little numeracy and basic physics have a look at Lever Principle.

Do pigs fly? Well they do at Flying Pig Gallery where you will find several examples of how to make and use a simple cam mechanism out of card; some of the cardboard models can be downloaded freely and when the .pdf files (you'll need the Adobe acrobat reader) are printed out in colour on card all you need is scissors, craft knife and glue (and patience and very fine motor skills . . . !) to make yourself the model. There is also a Flying Pig card to cut out and assemble and a cute Cupid to send to the one you love! There is also an excellent education section aimed at d&t students with tips on the design process, tools & techniques and excellent animations of mechanisms at Flying Pig Education. Become a e-subscriber and each month be able to download a new cut out and paste card mechanism.

A list of mechanism links can be found at Tech-It-Out-UK Mechanisms .

A nice interactive resource suitable for the interactive whiteboard where upper KS2 children can spot and recognise mechanisms ios to be found at EdHeads - Simple Machines, also more details on simple machines at Simple Machines and a nicely animated page on cams at Cams.

For templates for simple animated animals using pivots and links go to Make a Climbing Koala or Hopping Kangaroo - Wangaratta Primary School.

An excellent 10 hour KS2 (Years 5/6) project Fun at the Fair produced by Suffolk County Council is available as a superb illustrated .pdf file at Fun of the fair. With careful planning and adaptation by the teacher there's a whole term of work here.

A very useful link that I didn't know about which also links to some excellent resources on simple machines has been suggested by Jenny Kim and the Westwood Youth Group and can be found here.

Puppets, toys and musical instruments

Puppet making provides lots of opportunities for IDEA, FPT and DMA activities and children always enjoy making puppets which can be very simple or as challenging as you care to make them try the following sites for ideas and help when planning puppet projects. P & R Dennis finger puppet designs Pearl Mason Designs page with details of inexpensive kits. Another puppet site with some freebies and activities is Puppet Resource Center.

Here at BillyBears Finger Puppets you will find loads of templates for simple finger puppets and some more puppets at Danielle's Place you'll find examples of easy to make sock puppets and lunch bag puppets. Also from Danielle's Place some felt crafts including more finger puppets and simple soft toys.

A splendid nodding toy focused practical task that can be used as the basis for design and making a wide range of birds has been developed by John Twyford at Exeter University see Design and Technology- Nodding Toys Project.

An Australian child's design sheet for a Land Yacht which is not to dissimilar to our cuppa soup box vehicle or wooden framed chassis that we made in class Our Land Yacht .

20 Kids * 20 Kites * 20 Minutes is what is says and all the way from Hawaii. Instructions on how to make simple kite (focused practical task) which the children could then use a basis for designing and making their own kite.

Still on a "far away place" theme here's a novel musical instrument from South America which uses nails, beans and a cardboard tube (strictly for KS 2 I think) Exploratorium: Frogs -Rain Stick .

A toy site with some good but also some very dangerous "toys" is The Mechanical Toys Page - I cannot stress too strongly that the Match Rocket is a highly dangerous activity but the tank is a classic example of a simple propulsion unit.

Food technology

Before contemplating any food technology consult with parents to ensure that children in your class do not suffer from an allergic reactions to food stuffs. The following web site will be useful too ALLERGY IN SCHOOLS.

Before doing any food technology you have to consider personal hygiene and a good source of information about keeping more than just your hands clean and hygienic is Hygiene for Kids and a big thank you to Mrs Galvin's first grader who spotted this site and wanted to share it with us.

Active Kids Get Cooking recognises excellent healthy eating work and cooking by pupils in primary, middle and special schools throughout the UK and provides a real school/class focus in a time of great interest in child health, healthy eating knowledge and cooking know-how. It supports healthy schools initiatives throughout the UK by demonstrating commitment to food education, healthy eating and cooking.

A five star site food technology site is at Welcome to the British Nutrition Foundation where you can locate a huge range of resources and background information on food technology with whole section on schools and education including worksheets, recipes, etc. and even a Microsoft Word letter template to sending to parents to ask permission for food tasting in the primary classroom.

Have a look at British Cheese and their Teaching Resources where you can find out how to obtain their free "Say Cheese" design and technology teaching pack. Thanks to Nadine for drawing my attention to this link.

Potatoes for Schools is what it says and there are recipes that could be used for "designing and making" a healthy potato based snack.

A series of Food Technology focused practical tasks can be found at this ICTeachers site and although not all of the .pdf files "work" the practical sheets can be down-loaded in other formats and include several recipes for "Play Doughs" ICTeachers.

Food Forum - Baking Teacher Guidance has a range of activity sheets which contain IDEA activities and suggestions for design and make activities related to baking and is good for science as well as d&t.

Food Technology is aimed more at the secondary curriculum but there is useful information and video clips for upper KS2.

An excellent food technology site is to be found at Food File where you will find teachers' zones, fun zones, facts and information on dairy products, fruit, cereals and tea with down-loadable work-sheets. An excellent site.

If you are thinking of designing and making healthy sandwiches with your class then look at The Blueprint for a Perfect Sandwich from the What Foods Council.

Flour and Grain Education Programme has a KS2 activity with worksheet and relates to many other areas of the curriculum.

To provide multicultural ideas for food technology look at  RecipeSource: Your Source for Recipes on the Internet where you'll find every sort of ethnic dish and more.

And for land lubbers as well as those of you teaching in coastal areas have a look at Seafish Education Web Site.

The Dairy Council have a site with educational information and resources.

Not just for vegetarians, have a look at this site where you can design and make a new salad in "What a Funny Salad Plant at The Vegetarian Society UK - Virtual Schoolroom - Key Stage 2.

Circuit Design and Technology

Go to this site to download Crocodile Clips Elementary freeware (FREE software) that you download (takes a few minutes) and install on your PC and you have an excellent electricity circuit training programme for KS 1 or 2 that can also be used to design quite complex electric circuits for electrical D&T, e.g. design and make a torch, Crocodile Clips Ltd Children will love the crocodile that gobbles up unwanted items in the circuit.

D&T and SEN

A good place to start is We Can Do Design and Technology where you can download 33 pages of D&T ideas that would be useful in any primary classroom.

Also very worthwhile reading on this topic is to be found at D&T and SEN pupils from the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in Design and Technology (NAAIDT).


Most suppliers of primary education resources will supply most of what you need and art and craft shops will usually be able to supply the more elusive items.

Lakeland in Chester (5 Eastgate Row North) also now supply a wide range of arts and crafts materials which will be useful in D&T also you can see the range of materials and order from their website at Lakeland (click on "solutions for the home" and "crafty ideas").

"hands on" produce catalogues of "Primary Resources 5-11 years", including a Science & Technology Catalogue which can be obtained from "hands on", Unit 11, Tannery Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1RF (Tel: 01732 225800) - thanks to Sophie for that information.

Other Links

Whilst some of these links might not be D&T you might find them useful if only to occupy your children on a rainy day. But many of the items might also be useful in preparing classroom displays.

This Canon BJ site is in Japanese but that is no problem there is town with buildings, train and train track as .pdf files (you need Adobe Acrobat) but if printed on white card using a colour ink-jet printer you can cut out and stick the whole town together. See Bubble Jet Town.

A Hewlett-Packard site, again requiring the Adobe Acrobat software plug-in, allows you to create beautiful dioramas of Dinosaur Valley, Undersea Adventure and Outer Space Odyssey at HP Activity Center.

Another similar site called print-n-play toys is just that with a variety of quality pages that can be printed on card or sticky labels and used to occupy children on a rainy day, includes sports car, utility vehicle, fish tank with sticky fish, Valentine's stickers, haunted house, scarecrow, a cute cow etc.

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