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Will "STEM toys" lead the new wave of the industry?
Date: 2017-02-15

[Chinese and foreign toy network February 14 news] What is "STEM toy"? In order to maintain its competitiveness in the future world, the US government formulates STEM education programs and cultivates scientific and technological talents. S is Science, T is Technology, E is Engineering, and M is Maths. STEM education has penetrated into educational institutions at all levels in the United States, and STEM toys that transform technological knowledge into games have also emerged.



STEM toys dissolve boring scientific concepts in fun games, easy for children to accept and entertaining. It can also cultivate children's logical reasoning ability, spatial imagination, and creativity. At the 2017 Hong Kong Toy Fair, toys related to the STEM concept have increased a lot. The "STEM Toys-New Wave of the Industry" theme meeting invited many guests to discuss this new wave of products.



The guests agreed that a good STEM toy should have 4 elements: open play, connecting with life, helping to improve children's skills and the most important element-fun. At the same time, the guests think that the scope of STEM toys is actually very wide, and should not be limited to the current mainstream programming toys, but not all with matching APPs are STEM toys. Chirstopher Byrne, executive vice president of the well-known American toy magazine TTPM, believes that even an inertial car can be a STEM toy. "In fact, many traditional toys can be classified as STEM toys. These toys just hide the main purpose of education in play. Of course, the current mainstream STEM toys are targeted at children aged 6 to 11, so they need more play Creativity. "

Jim Mc Cafferty, president of JMP creative, agrees with this, and believes that STEM toys should also be added with creative (STEMC) toys. In addition, the tasks given to children by STEM toys must be achievable.


Add social competition attributes to add more fun

As a product with educational function, is STEM toy easy to make children feel boring? The guests also disagreed, but Josh Loerzel, the vice president of the American toy brand Zing, added a social sharing function to their STEM toys to drive children's enthusiasm. "Now children live in the Internet age, adding sharing features to their products, allowing children to create content independently or together with parents while playing STEM toys, and then publish on social platforms, opening a new channel for them to express themselves Show yourself. After all, children like to share what they have learned. ”Jim Mc Cafferty also very much agrees with this innovation. He pointed out that this makes playing toys into a competitive game, and the children are comparing who they are. Learn more, who will play better.


Authorized products can promote the popularity of STEM

For children, if it is a STEM toy that emphasizes teaching significance, it is more difficult to attract their interest. how to solve this problem? Carolann Dunn, Vice President of Discovery Discovery Channel Licensing, believes that the use of licensing can promote the popularity of STEM toys, provided that both parties are properly connected. "Authorized products must have clear responsibilities, rely on mutual understanding between the two parties, try to sit together to discuss development strategies, and exert their own expertise. The success rate of such authorized cooperation will be high." As an authorized party, Carolann Dunn think A good IP also requires good products to support maintenance.

Carolann Dunn also added that parents now know that children need toys not only for fun, but also that they should learn knowledge and skills from the process of playing.

Chirstopher Byrne believes that the needs of parents have already been reflected in the market, so now is a great opportunity for the development of STEM toys. Manufacturers and buyers should pay more attention to it and do not miss this opportunity for development.


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