As brand director for Smart Toys and Games, Karen Clarke shares her perspective on the crucial infant toy sector (defined as newborn to 12-months-old).
What are parents looking for when they choose infant toys?
“With so many different brands and options on the market, parents are looking for infant toys that really stand the test of time. They are looking for well-made, durable, cleverly-designed toys that are engaging. Babies like toys that are colourful and creative. It’s also important that toys help develop key skills, have an educational element, are good value for money and most importantly are safe!
How important is baby development and playtime to this sector?
“The first year of a baby’s life is a vital stage for learning and development. It’s a time for interaction and communication as they start to build social and developmental skills. Toys that can support stimulate a number of cognitive skills, help colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination will be really important tools for children to start learning key skills from a young age.”
How do you approach this important age group when developing new product?
“All of our toys feature engaging and educational mechanics. Our whole brand ethos is to encourage children to ‘learn through play’. We ensure every toy is colourful, durable , designed with a unique theme to delight the infant and to create lots of happy memories.”
What is your hero product for 2019? What is so special about it?
“SmartMax is the award-winning preschool magnetic construction system, which allows children aged from one-year-old the chance to explore the fascinating world of magnetism in a fun and safe way. With a new and creative approach this year, the ‘My First’ Totem set features eight colourful magnetic building blocks, with different sounds, styles and textures.”