D&T - Ideas for practical lessons

Primary Design and technology - Ideas for practical lessons

Here are shared ideas for practical D&T lessons, to teach about design, processes and materials…. and, of course, to have fun!

Mechanisms and movement

Fundamentals of Design - Moving Pictures

A video showing Y1 pupils’ learning of the principles and processes of ‘moving pictures’, using the story Handa’s Surprise as inspiration.

Moving Toys Work Booklet

An adaptable booklet aimed at Year 5 pupils on moving toys using cams.

How will your beast open its mouth?

Aimed at Y5 pupils, this activity is to make an animal with a moving mouth. The mechanisms used are: a cam and follower, a simple crank or a crank and slider.

Moving Monsters Presentation

A sequence of lessons for Y3 pupils to make a 3D moving monster, using a simple pneumatic system.

Moving Toys with minimal resources

Instructions for building a framework with a cam mechanism for children to then build a toy around, using thin card and plastic cams.

D&T storyboards planning

Medium term planning for year 4 pupils to make pop-up books, using two different mechanisms.

Will this story surprise you? Pop-up books

This resource is designed for Year 4 pupils to make pop-up books, working in small groups.


Shelters planning

Detailed plans for the Year 6 unit on shelters.

Shelter Design and Evaluation Booklet

A design booklet and evaluation sheet for Unit 6a on Shelters, linked to World War II.

Shelters PowerPoint

A presentation using images and questions to stimulate discussion about the purpose, structure and appearance of shelters.


A Taste for Bridges

This inspirational programme demonstrates how one teacher is bringing design and technology to life.


Guidelines and activities to present a unit on bridges in years 3-6. All types of bridges are shown in detail, with examples.

Building Bridges

In teams, pupils construct bridges to support a model car.


Making a Shekere

Children make a shekere using a plastic container and beads, then make music! Suitable for years 5 and 6.

Musical Instruments

Ideas and plans for making instruments from different materials. Pupils look at properties of materials to understand how the sound is made.

What music would you like to make?

The big task is to design and make a simple musical instrument and use it to play a part in a piece for four players.


My Photoframe Booklet

An adaptable booklet for designing and making photoframes.

Photoframe planning

A scheme of work on designing and making photoframes, intended for Year 3.

Photograph Frames work booklet

A work booklet for the children in year 3 to use alongside the investigating, designing and making of their photograph frames.

Sewing and fabric

Make Bean Bags

Children design their bean bag, thinking about its purpose. Includes cutting, pinning and sewing.

Embroidery stitches: step-by-step guide

An easy to follow guide to create simple hand embroidery stitches.

Making an Egg Cosy

Design and make a product, choosing suitable fabrics and joining techniques.

Money Containers: Intro lesson

A PPT for the first lesson, looking at money containers and finding what features the children want to include in their own design.