Spielwarenmesse: STEM & Art, a fantastic combination for toy innovation

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MINT und Kunst - STEAM


STEM & Art, a fantastic combination for toy innovation

from Maria Costa

Toys to learn science related topics (STEM) have been very trendy in the last few years. Parents see the opportunity for children to learn difficult subjects such as math or engineering by playing. At the same time, there is also a lot of interest in boosting creativity in children, and toy companies are responding by launching great products that foster artistic skills into the market. However, in this article I would like to point out another increasing trend, one that emerges from combining both science and art (STEAM) in the creation of innovative, very appealing playthings.

Learning science with artistic projects

Think about experimenting with colors, shapes, patterns, et cetera, in a way children can find out the physics and the chemistry behind these and other artistic topics. This is the idea in which Color Chemistry by Crayola is based. With this kit children are able to build several projects such as an erupting colors volcano.

Solar System String Lights, Steam Powered Girls, 4M
Solar System String Lights, Steam Powered Girls, 4M

The opportunity that arises from marketing products that present options to learn science and be creative at the same time is relevant for both genders. The focus on girls playing with science through a creative approach has actually been an increasing trend for the last years, with products Project MC2 or STEAM powered girls by 4M. But this idea is also appealing for parents looking to foster artistic skills in their sons. However, I don’t see this possibility being exploited yet.

Learning robotics and coding from a creative perspective

Categories of toys related to artistic creations such as dough are being considered to develop products that incorporate technology for building robots, coding, and more. Bright Creatures Kit by Tech will save us or Bloxels by Mattel are some great examples. In the first case, children build fantastic dough characters while learning about electricity and circuits. With Bloxels they can create video games and interactive stories by becoming writers, artists, designers, and developers.

Actually, robotics and coding are two of the hottest STEM topics at the moment, but consider that adding the artistic factor could likely increase the appeal of any of these toys, broadening the target age and gender. From STEM, the industry is talking about STEAM (considering Art) and even STREAM (adding Robotics).

Bright Creatures: Build an Electric Dragon that Lights Up!

Merging scientific knowledge with creativity boost toys

Toys that foster scientific knowledge or promote creativity in children are going to continue being very relevant for the next several years. Imagine the potential that mixing both topics can have! Use themes related to science and art together as an inspiration to develop new innovative toys, products that will engage children with parents’ endorsement.

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Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

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