Playing with toys is the best way to understand children's points of view

The best way to perceive children's points of view for toy designers is to play more with these toys.

According to Kanoon General Directorate for Public Relations and International Affairs, Markus Maciel, Professor of Toy Design at the University of California, Otis, shared more than 15 years of scientific and academic experience and work experience with a number of toy designers and ideators in Iran in a virtual conference.

He stressed the importance of recognizing children's needs and perspectives at a meeting organized by the General Administration of Creative Entertainment and Computer Games of Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Kanoon) on April 4, 2021: Playing with toys can reveal a child's story, patterns, and how they interact with these tools, and designers can change and improve how children interact and define new stories for them.

This designer and developer of toys in the United States, who has designed and managed products in notable companies, explained that all types of toys are welcomed by consumers, but with the outbreak of Covid-19 in the world, the popularity of indoor toys, and construction board games has increased sharply.

In response to a question from one of the participants in the meeting about how to design toys suitable for children, Maciel added:” Although the main consumer of these products is children, in the end, the parents are who that must be attracted to it, and this makes the work of designers quite difficult and challenging. They have to design toys in a way that suits both children and adults - who may not be aware of the child's point of view.

In this session, the teacher of toy design and prototyping games and toys at Otis College of Art & Design explained that the changing perspective of designers results in paying more attention to the concept of toys and helps to design creative toys for children and introducing new worlds to them. He stressed that children look at all phenomena clearly and creatively, and their view, as adults, does not pass through many filters and does not suffer from self-censorship.

The professor of toy design at Otis College considered the game an integral part of human life and said that in the coming years and even in adulthood, this need will appear in other forms, such as using smartphones and collecting stamps, etc.

Maciel listed storytelling, discovery, and adventure as the three main elements that make a toy attractive: Every toy should have a story to encourage parents to buy it first, and then children to play with it. He also stressed the importance of illustration, proper packaging, and providing sufficient explanations for the toy so that the audience knows what the toy is about, what features it has, what the movement mechanism is, and what moral qualities the characters have and what do they like.

The College professor also spoke about some of the Otis activities and educational programs in which he studied many years ago and now teaches there. He mentioned the College’s plans to establish a connection between students and the industry sector, internships with older students, and an exhibition of toys designed in the final year as opportunities that demonstrate and enhance the skills of designers.

In this meeting, which was held on Sunday, April 4, 2021, with the presence of a number of toy designers and ideators from different cities of the country, Aidin Mehdi-Zadeh, secretary of the 4th National “Ideaazad” Toy Event, announced that these meetings will continue with the presence of foreign guests.

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