Toys should help children grow

Daniel Mauritzson is a toy designer at BRIO, working out of BRIO’s R&D unit at the headquarters in Sweden. He draws the first lines on a blank piece of paper when a new toy is about to be designed, and he tracks the idea all the way through to the final prototype ready for production. This can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

“What is the most important thing going through your mind when you design new toys?”
“We have four key rules that I base my work on. Toys should be safe to play with, they must comply with BRIO’s high quality standards, they must be intuitively easy for the child to understand – and they must help the child grow through play.”

“How do you know that when you design a new toy, it will be compelling to children when it’s done?"
“A crucial part of my job is to watch how children play, and to understand how children think and react. Therefore my colleagues and I spend a lot of time testing new toys by observing how children use them, and we try to learn from this before we complete a design. This is incredibly exciting because you are always surprised. Children’s imagination is a marvellous world.”

“What does it mean to you that toys should help children grow?”

“It’s important to distinguish between entertainment and growth. For BRIO, toys are not about entertaining or pacify children. A successful toy is able to stimulate the child’s imagination and be part of the child’s growth through play – even at different ages. Take our famous toddler wobbler, for instance it can be used to help the child learn how to walk. When the child is a bit older, the child might use the wobbler to store different objects. And later in the child’s development, it’s used to transport other toys. It should be possible to use toys at different levels as the child grows. We think a lot about these things.”

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