Crayola Wooden Toys

Crayola Wooden Toys

Just in time for the new school year, Crayola has launched a new line of educational toys designed to delight children ages 3-5 and rekindle memories for parents and grandparents with classic play patterns from their own childhood.

Crayola Wooden Toys offer a series of handcrafted, colorful puzzles, blocks stampers, and dry-erase activity sets designed to stimulate creativity and imagination. There’s a nostalgic quality to the handmade toys, some of them packaged in dovetailed wooden boxes. The sets are now available on Amazon with a suggested retail price of $19.99.

The new wooden toy line moves away from flashy digital toys, apps, and computer games and brings forth simple, hands-on play patterns to cultivate cognitive, problem solving, and basic motor skills.

Erin Westgate, a product design manager at Crayola, spent over a year developing and refining Crayola’s Wooden Toys. She provides an inside look at the inspiration behind them and what she sees as a renewed interest in the simple joys of childhood.

What inspired this new line of products?
Crayola is always looking for the best ways to inspire creativity and imagination for kids. The same is true in this wooden toy line. The development team was seeking to create a new line of toys that would not only foster a toddler’s creativity but also build cognitive skills.

Each product has a multi-purpose: to allow little ones to express their creativity and self-expression and learn problem-solving, hand-eye cognition through puzzles, building with blocks, and basic reading and math skills. It’s all about fun, imagination, and creativity, and in addition to that, focusing on cognitive skills and problem-solving.

These toys seem to have a retro, heirloom quality—is there a renewed interest among parents and kids to return to more basic toys?
As screen time is becoming more and more prevalent, we are learning at Crayola that parents now have a desire for their children to mix in tactile, physical play. We are seeing that parents have a renewed interest in toys that allow their children to experience the joy and fun that they themselves experienced at playtime. This new toy line highlights tried and true play patterns that generation after generation of children have always gravitated towards.

How were these toys developed? Did children test them?
Like all of our products at Crayola, these toys were developed by a cross-functional team who worked together to generate the play patterns and look of the toy line as well as evaluate the ergonomics of each individual set. The toys then went through multiple rounds of edits, redesigns, and updates prior to and after being rigorously tested by children. Toddlers tested the products many times over to ensure the toys were engaging and easy to use and parents saw the cognitive and creative benefits to these toys.

What kind of wood is used?
A variety of wood was used to create these toys to ensure durability and longevity. Kids can be hard on their toys. We wanted these toy products to hold up to toddlerhood many times over so that they could be donated or passed down to siblings and played with for generations to come.

Are the toys designed to be used sequentially?
Children can match different play patterns and get more use out of each set of toys. For example, the blocks are age-graded for a younger child, 3+. The Dry-Erase Board can hold the attention of a 4- to 5-year-old who may have a deeper understanding of counting.

Can you describe a reaction from a child or parent who tested the toys?
Children naturally gravitated towards the vivid colors and cute stamp characters. And parents really appreciated how the educational and interactive aspect of these toys made for more engaging play.

Is this Crayola’s first line of wooden toys?
Although we have explored many mediums and materials in the past, this is our first big launch into wooden toys. Our goal in developing this new toy line is to use our creativity to help parents raise creatively alive children. We hope children and parents love these toys as much as we enjoyed making them.



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