Child’s Play

Competition Details


by Zei Wen Chang
Co-authors: Ksenija Kuzmina

TAFYLAND is an environmental toy that can accommodate a child in his or her early developmental stages. As discovered and described by Jean Piaget, we construct our cognitive abilities through self-motivated actions in the world. In their play, children first explore the information that they collect around them, and then create their own realities with what they have at hand.

With TAFYLAND, a child first comes into contact with a three-dimensional shape either by drawing on it or by rotating it. As the child notices some effects from the initial actions, he will repeat them: adding colors, putting shapes together, and changing their positions. Later he becomes aware of his surrounding and can establish a new level of understanding with the toys. For example, he can associate a block shape with an object he sees, and then imitates or alters it on the block. Eventually, those shapes can take a life of their own, and become different characters and architectural elements in the stories that the child creates. Intriguingly, a 2-yr-old might scribble or create things only he understands, a 7-yr-old might be using it as canvas to paint his imaginary world.

TAFYLAND is made up of 12 solid wood blocks that are covered with natural white milk-based paint. Then, a layer of non-toxic satin-finish coating will be applied, so that when the child is done drawing with washable crayons (or even colored chalks), the surface could be effortlessly cleaned with water or wet cloth.