Play turns us into human beings
Look, touch, push, lift… play is a way for your baby to develop their senses, to get orientated and to try to understand their surroundings. With the KLAPPA toys collection we wanted to develop toys which stimulate this journey of discovery and contribute to the important interaction between you and your baby. From a social context, the child grows through play, and becomes a human being.
When a new born baby’s eyes open for the first time, the central nervous system is still not yet fully developed. The eyes cannot see a distance of more than 20-40 cm, about as far away as the nursing mother's face. But by interacting with a variety of impressions, like colours, shapes, touches and sounds, the development of the small child's brain is stimulated. This is explained by researcher Krister Svensson, who has studied children's development, play and learning for many years.
"But resting is just as important as the stimulation. The brain occasionally needs rest from the impressions in order to sort it all and relate everything to what it previously registered."
The details entice play
Toys adapted to the small baby can contribute to these important impressions which stimulate the brain's development. But what is it that really makes a certain toy enticing to the child?
"Often it's something that stands out in their surroundings and draws attention to itself", says Krister. "Maybe black dots on a yellow giraffe or the sound of a rattle."
Designer Malin Unnborn, who designed the KLAPPA toys collection, wanted to find those specific details that could create curiosity and lead to play.
"For example, for the picture book and the ball I used colours with strong contrasts and fabrics with different structures, such as glossy and matte, soft and rough."
On the snuggle blanket, the play mat and the baby gym, Malin made shark fins, ears and other details that stick out just enough for small and curious fingers to pinch them.
Toys create interaction
KLAPPA became an entire world of imaginative animals, plants and planets to explore.
”Maybe it’s not that important for the baby that it's a crab looking up at the edge of the play mat”, Malin says. "But it can entice an older child to play with their younger sibling."
Krister feels that toys also play an important social function in the child's development.
"They act as tools for social interaction between you and your child, and it's you who gives the toys life and meaning."
For example, by naming a rattle 'a yellow giraffe', you can talk about it, and when you take turns holding the giraffe, an understanding in the child arises as to how they themselves are a part of a context. Play is based on interaction and is quite simply a necessity for a human being’s development, says Krister.
"To become a human being requires interaction with other people."