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FEATURE


Educational Learning


Stay A


s one of the most important categories within the toy industry, educational learning


is continually adapting to changes in needs and technology. There is a huge variety of elements that make toys important. Play value, accuracy, entertainment and quality can all be combined to form some of the most sought-after products on the market. But, for a lot of people, especially parents, the educational factor will be right at the top of their wishlist when fi nding toys for their children. The market is an important one, but a


very broad one, too. There is so many diff erent aspects


to an educational learning toy, and the products can range from relying heavily on technology and computer programmes to something as simple as small wooden puzzle pieces. The most important thing in this


ahead... ahead... Bigjigs


TnP delves into the educational learning market to fi nd out how the category is improving and why it’s so important to parents and children alike


sector is the message that the products get across to the kids. How a child interacts with a product is vital, as ensuring that they are engaged and learning from it is what the whole educational toy-building process is all about. The teaching methods must be


simple, conducive and able to hold the


course, it is obviously still all about finding that right product at the right price with that extra factor.





Tracey Devine Marketing Director, InspirationWorks,


child’s interest. Whether the product has fl ashing lights, microphones, touch screens or a simple 1D picture, it’s all about the child’s development. Toys ‘n’ Playthings wanted to fi nd out


how important it is to companies that they tailor their products to suit the


Inspiration Works


and development scheme. The results were all taken on board


and tweaks and additions were made to each game, which resulted in a more engaging, rewarding and improved experience.’ "But there is always room for assessment and evaluation…" As technology continues to


advance with every passing moment, the vast majority of sectors within the toy industry will be aff ected by this whirlwind. Perhaps traditionally acknowledged as the simpler category of craft educational toys without the means of technology, the educational learning sector


developmental needs of a child. Rena Nathanson, President, Bananagrams, said: "We’ve spent considerable time and resource researching two of our games which are geared for a younger audience. "We asked educators, parents, families and children to participate in a very comprehensive market research


Licenses have had a great impact over the years within this sector but, of


has launched itself into one of the frontrunners in modern day innovation. Rena added: "There have been a lot of changes within the category over the past few years, particularly with the advent of tablets and iPads etc., which are very useful learning tools for young children. "The combination of imagination, brain engagement and strategy seems to be a popular direction recently, as opposed to simply moving pieces around a board to get to the end. "The trick is to not compromise game play and learning satisfaction but instead let the two complement each other. "In transferring gameplay to tablet,


we feel it is best to mimic the classic game play that players are familiar and comfortable with. "We have kept gameplay as close to the classic tabletop version as possible, so players can play multi-player, solo and live - globally!’ Tracey Devine, Marketing Director,


Inspiration Works, added: "Licenses have had a great impact over the years within this sector but, of course, it is obviously still all about fi nding that right product at the right price with that extra factor. "We have also seen the introduction and merging of technology into this category as toys and technology embrace." When Tracey was asked why she felt


the category was so important to the industry, as a whole, she said: ‘’The ELA/ pre-school sector has really embraced technology and is revolutionising the direction of toys - this will undoubtedly have an impact on the industry as a whole and will continue to grow and improve as we embrace it further."


47 Educational Learning





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