Think Inside the Box – How the Toy Industry Can Start Beating its Own Drum

Psst! Come close. I have an idea I’d like to share with you.            

Wright_brothers_airplane For years I have been beating the drum on the importance of toys in our society, not just for their obvious utility in the life of a child, but for their profound impact on the world. I have repeated the stories of Frank Lloyd Wright being inspired by a set of building blocks, and of the Wright brothers crediting a toy airplane given them as a birthday gift as the inspiration for their interest and ultimately their creating the first powered heavier-than-air-craft.             

I keep expecting this message to be picked up by others. I keep hoping some noted expert is going to start making the talk show rounds and spreading the word on what is so important about toys and games. What do we learn from them? What are their many benefits to us all? 

But, alas, this has not happened. I volunteer, and operators are standing by, but I am not a PhD, MD, or other noted academic, and thus not credible in substantiating the profound impact, and importance of toys. 

CLX0106Cook099-de So here’s the idea. Inside every toy package print up an interesting, humorous, and compelling explanation, aimed at moms and dads, on the learning value of that particular product. It may teach fine motor skills, cooperation, how to follow rules, development of the imagination – whatever that toy or game encourages, inspires, inculcates or teaches. Explain it, talk it up, illustrate it in every toy and game package as an insert or on the inside of the package, as well.         

How about on the outside of the box? Why should you buy this toy/game? Here’s why! Why buy your kids and your family toys and games to play with together? Let us tell you why! Again, and again, in interesting, entertaining, and informative ways. We can talk it up ourselves to begin to educate the population on the importance of toys and play.             

Let's think inside the box.

2 thoughts

  1. Thank Charlie. Agreed. No/low cost, no downside Why the heck not do it? You may want to check out the Bloom report on just that topic of what makes toys educational. Also, the FIT and Otis school toy design degree programs and CHITAG here in Chicago as a networking opportunity. I wish you luck in finding a way into a great industry.
    and thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.

  2. This is a really great idea! Given that I have yet to find a way to make the toy industry my one and only gig, my day job sees me in academia and the ways to teach any message are indeed an ongoing problem. Given that what you suggest doesn’t seem to even be attempted currently, I think that there’s a great opportunity there. For very little cost, great benefits may result, and what more can you ask for especially in trouble times as these.
    I suppose it might draw unfavorable attention to the idea that some playthings may be more educationally valid than others. However, I think with the right perspective and language just about anything that falls under the umbrella of ‘toys and games’ can be seen to have brain-improving, family-bonding positive characteristics!

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