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 DIY handicraft pop-up book | Make a coral reef ecosystem on your own


To extend the interaction with the young visitors beyond the museum space, the Shanghai Natural Museum commissioned me to design a set of learning materials for children based on the natural ecosystem exhibited in the museum.

Through closed collaboration with the museum team, a coral reef craft book was launched as the first episode of this series, which invites children to learn the coral reef knowledge while experiencing the hands-on creation enjoyment.


Copyright researved by Shanghai Natural Science Museum and Shanghai Children Publishing Company.. No part of these pages may be used for any purpose.






Making is always a effective way of learning. In this project, I want to embed the knowledge into the making process, allowing children intuitively feel and understand the characteristics of the coral reef system. So in the beginning, I suggested two design principles:





| Self-explanatory : The Accordion Format |
After exploring several potential structures, I decided on the accordion structure which reflects the layering & mesh structure of the coral reef: small fish are protected inside and blocking the big predators outside. When children trying to place different fish models into this accordion stage, they can easily feel only the small-sized ones can fit into the foreground. 






| Engaging : ready-to-make craft materials |
Once unfold the accordion-format basement, children can “plant” sea anemones and corals by themselves. Besides, guided by a reef story brochure, children can place the marine lives in their proper place. For example, the clownfish should live together with the anemones.



The craft book facilitates the learning process and also brings kids the sense of achievement of making.



Now the craft book is already on the shelf. It’s also introduced into some museum workshops as an educational toolkit.








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