To think like a child, we must play like one. We understood from observation that children have no inhibitions when it comes to play, they do not see something as having only one use or even if they do they will not necessary think like that. As adults we have grown up with preconceived perceptions of the world and we believe everything has a function, but children do not limit themselves in the way.
As a group we took some time to play and interact with some simple toys and objects that weren't necessarily recognized as toys, such as the pegs, but understanding how exactly children made a functional item that has one specific job into a play thing.
We found we enjoyed a range of different features: the colours, the contrast between organic and rigid shapes, the different materials, especially the wood, the noises, the feedback but what we found as a whole with the objects is that they each rewarded us in very specific and unique ways. Some of us enjoyed the sounds most, some the tactlessness, some the colours - we each found joy in more ways than one.
One of the items we enjoyed the most were the Legos and stacking cups. We found a correlating feeling of achievement when building something but in contrast to the achievement we felt when playing competitive games, this achievement was much more personal.The emotions we feel when playing with toys are very subtle and sometimes it can be easy to under-estimate the pleasure we receive from them.
We felt nostalgia played a large part in our joy factor, recognizing simple shapes and objects that we may have once played with allowed us to have some preconceived use of it. Although we liked that, we wanted to only touch on that memory but give way for new uses and interpretations for the toy.
We like the simplicity of the toys we played with and their shapes and memories connecting to our childhood so we will be using the same toys as inspiration for our concept. If you haven't played with some building blocks today, you probably should.
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