May 12, 2017

Five for Friday: Stuff for kids

Coming up with innovative solutions for children is child’s play in Finland.
Coming up with innovative solutions for children is child’s play in Finland.
Istock.com/rhoon

Digital toys, analogue toys, books and nightlights – children have it made in Finland.

Wondering what’s up in kids’ toys and accessories in this northern neck of the woods? You’ve come to the right place.

Lillagunga

Taking its name from the Swedish word for ‘small swing’, these wooden swings became airborne in May 2013.

“A swing is a universal product; it’s known all over the world,” Anton Stenfors told us in 2015. “We have shipped everywhere from Taiwan to Canada, to all around Europe, Australia and the USA. Many have contacted us directly and also through our resellers in France, London and Taiwan.”

Juho Jussila

In this, the year of Finland’s centenary, it seems fitting to take note of this local company, which has been producing wooden toys for the last 100 years or so.

“A wooden toy needs someone to play with it,” sales manager Harri Savo said in 2015. “That takes imagination, which children have plenty of.”

Petra’s Planet

Finns’ love of reading is nurtured at an early age, with a range of local characters and stories on offer for kids to enjoy. Increasingly, this passion for the written word is being shared with other countries, too.

“We are delighted to be in partnership with an established and trusted publisher in China, and we are excited about introducing Petra to children across China,” Eevamaria Halttunen, the founder of publisher Dramaforum, said last year.

LeeLuu

These nightlights look like cute, animal-shaped plush toys and can be stroked to change the intensity of the light or squeezed to switch the light on and off.

“I myself have two kids and one of my co-founders remembers being really scared of the dark as a child,” Leeluu co-founder Emmi Pouta explained to us in 2014. “We realised that fear of the dark is a real problem for many kids and it can affect the quality of sleep for both the kids and their parents.”

Kapu Toys

This company offers a digital toy box filled with all manner of fun and learning for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

“Tapping, swiping, pinching and all other gestures come naturally for infants, even before they are able to dress themselves,” founder Tuomas Vanamo said last year. “So, shouldn’t there be content specifically created for them?”

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