Child’s Play

Competition Details
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Play Packaging

by Kate Wells
Co-authors:

‘A good toy is 10 percent toy and 90 percent child. The child’s imagination is the engine of healthy play.’
Alliance for Childhood

For me, ‘Child’s Play’ was about creating a personal space for children that triggered creativity and imagination. This was achieved through re-designing LG appliance packaging, to form visually exciting, tactile play environments for children between the ages of two and four. The product focuses around the graphic designs printed onto the packaging, communicating instructions to both adult and child. Sheets in the user manual offer colour-coded instructions on how to create a house, shop or rocket. These ideas are suggestive to encourage interactivity.

Children between the ages of two and four enjoy social imaginative play, developing their awareness of adult reality, behaviour and language. They like creating their own spaces, cardboard boxes provide the perfect medium. Insight came from when children receive presents; playing more with packaging than the toy. This product provides a canvas for children to be inspired.

The intention for this project was to reuse packaging, making it more environmentally friendly. When the child has outgrown the play structure, the box is recycled. This is cost effective as they are supplied with the appliance. For use in the home, garden or school, children can use their own pens and paints with the stencils and stamps provided to personalise.

When the adult has finished with the packaging, assembly instructions on the box show how to construct the generic roof shape. The flaps are folded and stuck together with double-sided tape already attached, making it instantly ready for the child to play. My user tester really enjoyed locking the front door with the key, posting the stamp shapes through the letterbox and decorating. At least it wasn’t her mother’s wallpaper!