This fact is linked to the popularity of DIY activities, something that has even increased during the lockdown. If we pay attention to the DIY ideas that are more popular online, it is obvious that their main purpose is to have fun, play, and enjoy family time. This is a perfect combination to be inspired by to create new toys.
With this in consideration, a great number of toy companies are actually embracing this trend. And it is definitely quite interesting to see the variety of toys that are incorporating DIY features into their design.
Toys to create real things
Following the innovations presented at the Spielwarenmesse every year, the increase in new toys focused on building “real things” is easy to see. For instance, a few years ago, Ravensburger introduced puzzles that allow children to create pencil holders and functional lamps. At the beginning of this year Lego presented Lego Dots, a wonderfully designed line of toys for children to create their own unique bracelets, picture frames, jewellery cases, and more.
Lego carried out an interesting campaign to promote the new product line. Artist Camille Walala created an art installation called “House of Dots”, a simulated house with different rooms, and even a disco room, which visitors could interact and play with by customising the spaces with Lego Dots.
While some products are more focused on fostering children’s creativity in an artistic way, others are more centred on promoting STEM related skills. A couple of examples are littleBits, now owned by Sphero, or the products from the company Tech Will Save Us. The great thing about these items is that children can learn from different perspectives while having fun as they do so.
DIY & Eco
The trend towards sustainable products is also influencing arts & crafts toys. In fact, one of the factors parents seem to be more interested in when looking for DIY activities to do with their children is to be able to reuse things that they already have at home (empty bottles, paper rolls, et cetera). So, it is clever to combine both trends.
The good news is that lately there have been interesting new toy innovations considering this idea. For instance, Toyi is a “creative play kit without instructions that enables children to transform everyday objects around them into unique toys”. This wonderful toy allows children to create things in a playful way while learning about upcycling.
Another example is PlayMais Kids Home-Design Lion Trophy, a DIY set to create a lion head to decorate a wall. As all PlayMais products, this one contains small, coloured pieces that are made from corn flour and food colouring, a toxin-free and 100% biodegradable material.
There are other products such as My Organic Cosmetic Lab by Clementoni, a toy for children to create their own soaps, perfumes, creams and more, all considering the use of environment-friendly ingredients.