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Project challenge:

inspiration banner

Suggested Ages: 3rd – 5th Grades

Get the message out! In this design challenge you’ll craft an inspiring banner to hang in your window. You’ll need to be BE COLLABORATIVE and incorporate ideas from everyone in your family about what words and colors to use in your banner.

Engaging Design-It-Yourself projects to inspire young innovators

This is no ordinary DIY project for kids: It’s a step toward becoming an innovator.


Every Galileo Design-It-Yourself Challenge teaches the same techniques and mindsets that professional designers an engineers, artists and chefs use in their work. With skills like these, we believe you can change the world.

Get Involved—For Grown Ups

Materials list:

Help your child find these materials or a close substitute: 


  • Paper (index cards or cardstock is best, but copy paper can also work)
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Something to string the banner on (string, yarn, etc)
  • Tape
  • Optional: washable markers*, water*, and a plastic bag (to dye paper)

*Note: You can also do this with colored sharpies and rubbing alcohol, instead of washable markers and water. You just might want to wear gloves because the sharpie ink can stain your hands.


Activity Steps:

Use these to keep your innovator on track as they create: 


    1. Be collaborative; Get ideas from your family. Ask each person: What’s one word and one color you would use to describe our family?
    2. Write 1 letter of each word on an index card or ¼ sheet of paper. Match the paper colors to the colors they suggested.
      • If you don’t have colored paper, dye white paper by scribbling washable marker on a plastic bag, adding water, and then pressing the paper on top.
    3. Draw an outline around each stick letter to turn it into a block letter.
      • If using dyed paper, wait for it to dry before lettering.
    4. Customize each letter by changing the outline, adding shadows, etc.
    5. Embellish the flags (add fringe, attach decorations, shape the bottom with scissors, etc.)
    6. Poke 2 holes in the top of each paper. Thread string in-and-out.
    7. Hang the string in your window to display the words for the world to see!


Guiding Questions:

If your child is stuck, try asking these questions to help them keep on innovating: 


  • What word and color suggestions did you get from everyone? Are there any that are similar that you could combine? How might you ensure everyone’s ideas are included?
  • What do you notice is or isn’t working when dyeing the paper? Could you try using more or less water, or coloring more or less?
  • What letter designs have you tried already? Where could you get ideas if you need them? Books? Online? Family members?


More Ideas:

Every project presents opportunities to add your own twists or extensions. Here are some ideas to get you started: 


  • Pro Tip: If adding shadows to a letter is tricky, form the shape of the letter out of 3D objects (like shoes). Shine a flashlight at them from the side. Point out where the shadows fall.
  • Pro Tip: If drawing 3D block letters is tricky, first draw a block letter in pencil. Then draw the same block letter again, ½” over to the side and down. Then connect the corresponding corners of the 2 letters to each other.
  • You can color white paper a lot of ways, not just with the marker dye method we show in the video; Try colored pencils, crayons, paint, etc.
  • Step it up!  Instead of just listing words that describe your family, come up with a “Family Motto”. Try to keep it to 1-3 words. It should be something you all agree is important (aka, a family value).
  • Keep innovating! What other messages might you want to hang in your window?


Wrap Up Questions:

Lock in the learning by asking your child these questions about their project and how they practiced the featured Innovator’s Mindset element: 


  • What word do you think best describes our family? What words did you get from collaborating with other family members? Why do you think they suggested those words?
  • What letter(s) are your favorite? Why?


The last step in the Gallieo Innovator’s Process is SHARE. Great learning can come from sharing successes and failures—to solidify your own experience as an innovator and to inspire others.


SHARE WITH galileo


Take a picture of your banner and share it with the Camp Galileo Anywhere Facebook Community.


Share with family and friends


Your innovation doesn’t stop with you. Inspire someone else by sharing your project challenge—maybe they’ll try it themselves or maybe your project will give them a new idea.


  • Who: someone in your house, a family member, a friend
  • How: in person, on the phone, online
  • When: anytime, starting now!