At the IDEO Play Lab, we believe that a good toy is one that promotes play. Of course, all sorts of things can promote play—it’s hard to top pots, pans, and a wooden spoon for a one-year old, or a giant cardboard box for toddlers. (Tip: Never recycle those giant boxes too quickly!)
On our team, our currency is joy. In a not-too-far-off and awesome future, I hope parents begin to tell their kids, “You can’t do your homework until you go outside and play for an hour.”
Even though we love those everyday objects that turn into toys, we have some favorites on store shelves too. 2018 was another year of fun in our Palo Alto office—we got to work with toy companies on everything from transformative, nostalgia-based toys to new electronic games. Here are some of those favorites, invented by the IDEO Play Lab.
Barbie’s had a lot of sweet rides over the years, but this one makes road trips a breeze. The camper folds out to a full two feet and includes a play pool that holds real water. After going down the slide, Barbie can dry off roast marshmallows around the campfire. Kids will spend hours discovering all the features of this toy, so a vacation for Barbie means a vacation for parents too.
You've always wanted a pet velociraptor, right? Right. Now’s your chance—this interactive toy allows you to train your own pet dinosaur. You can even use it as a guard animal, set to alert you when anyone gets too close to your office—or, uh, your kid’s bedroom.
Header image via CNET.