Due to this, parents are positively valuing toys that give their children the opportunity to laugh, feel more optimistic, relaxed and even help them enjoy the moment. In general, that means toys that support their happiness and mental wellbeing. We collected a few examples of how to start creating toys and games that fulfil this goal.
Designed to convey happiness
To design products in a way that improves children’s moods, we can consider various perspectives: sensory design and joyful design.
Sensory design is focused on influencing the emotional state of a person by designing a product while considering how they will experience it through touch, smell, hearing, sight, and movement. A good product example is the Crayola Silly Scents, markers with a variety of smells that make the act of drawing and colouring much more engaging and enjoyable. Even their video advertisement can surprise and make everybody laugh.
To create a joyful design it is important to be very conscious while deciding on the visual characteristics of a toy. Products designed to convey joyfulness are usually made with bright colours, high contrasts, and cheerful, well-illustrated motives (e.g. Positivity 12 Fluorescent Pencils and Sketchbook by eeBoo). All this is related to the rainbow trend we have had in the industry in the last few years, with products featuring the colours of the rainbow (Rainbow High Hair Studio, MGA Entertainment), toys in the shape of a rainbow or toys with illustrations of rainbows on them (Cloudees, Mattel).
Another factor to consider beyond the aesthetics of a product is its goal or function. On the one hand, toys can be designed with “silly” games in mind, things that make you laugh (such as Plumber Pants Game, Hasbro). On the other hand, products can aim towards helping children to relax and be more “zen” (Kinetik Sand Kalm; Barbie Breath, Mattel).
This is also an interesting concept that all companies should explore. Happiness marketing is focused on understanding lifestyles that are healthy for consumers and is based on creating products and campaigns that promote positive attitudes towards life.
In the toy industry, some companies are already embracing this idea. For instance, they are creating toys and marketing communications that present children with ideas for mantras and positive affirmations. Disney Wisdom Collection is a wonderful example, as well as Nenuco Smell of Happiness by Famosa.
Toys can foster emotional wellbeing
Toys can make a difference in assisting children during stressful and difficult times by helping to improve their moods. This article summarised a few ideas on how to create toys that could enhance happy feelings. However, all companies should feel encouraged to explore and exploit all the possible ways in which toys could fill the lives of children with real joy. Remember, current consumers are driven by a need for joyfulness.