Mattel, Hasbro, LEGO among toy companies stepping up with home play initiatives

As preschoolers and children across the globe find themselves with more time at home, key toy companies have launched new campaigns to keep play happening.

With a huge proportion of preschoolers and children across the globe now at home, as lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continue to be introduced, a number of major companies have launched initiatives and resources for families and caregivers.

Mattel launched its free digital destination, Mattel Playroom, earlier this week which features activities and content from its portfolio of brands including Fisher-Price and Thomas and Friends.

The aim is to encourage children to #KeepPlaying, as well as to supply parents and caregivers with play-from-home information and tips. In the coming weeks, Mattel Playroom will be updated with additional content and experiences including designer tutorials, new ways to Play with Mattel products and more.

It will be updated weekly with activities at launch including printable colouring pages and activities, free and ready-to-play games, crafting, animated, stop-motion and live-action videos and downloable apps.

“Our mission to inspire, entertain and develop children through play is more important than ever,” said Richard Dickson, president and coo of Mattel. “We believe in the power of play and how essential it is for child development, especially in these difficult times when so much is in flux for kids and families.

“We recognise the unique challenges that parents and caregivers are facing right now both working and playing from home and have designed the Mattel Playroom to be a valuable resource for them.”

Hasbro, meanwhile, has unveiled BringHometheFun.com which includes tips for family playtime – including crafts using Play-Doh – activity challenges to keep kids occupied, ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains and suggestions on how to cope with increased emotional stress.

Eric Nyman, chief consumer officer at Hasbro, commented: “Many of us are parents, grandparents, and caregivers ourselves, and we hope Bring Home the Fun will help families and friends around the world, and create moments of joy, laughter, and play in a time when we need connection more than ever.”

The LEGO Group has created two key initiatives which is says will aid all children.

The first is a US$50 million donation by the LEGO Foundation to support children most in need and ensure they continue to have access to learning through play. The donation will be split between three groups of partners – Education Cannot Wait; a selection of existing LEGO Foundation partners whose work with children and families is under additional pressure from COVID-19; and charity partners serving communities where the LEGO Group has a significant presence.

In addition, LEGO has created www.lego.com/letsbuildtogether and launched #letsbuildtogether across social channels as a way to share building ideas, daily challenges, retro builds and live build-a-longs with fans everywhere.

Play experts from the LEGO Foundation will also share ways to inspire learning through all types of play which will help preschoolers and children develop life-long skills such as creativity and problem solving while out of school or nursery.

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