The Perfect Subject
The Nuts and Bolt toys have been around for decades to help children ages 2-4 develop their motor skills, coordination, memory, dexterity, concentration, and pattern recognition.
With a narrow target age range, it was important to think of ways to increase the life span of the product by introducing other functional elements like building and creativity into the product’s usage without altering the product itself
The Final Design is a simple, compact, and smart packaging that elevates the product.
At first glance, the packaging showcases the nuts and bolts in a neat and organized fashion, the tone down colors of the cardboard also highlights the colorful and fun characteristics of the product itself.
In addition to the physical play experience, I introduced a digital accompaniment to further extend the functionality of the product by introducing additional moments for creativity and learning.
Above is a mid-fi prototype for the app, titled “Paper-Pals”. Drawing visual references from children’s worksheet, Paper-Pals, is an AT inspired experience that enables the user to scan and digitize their creation, and interact with them through story telling and other educational activities.
From giraffes to airplanes, the redesigned packaging includes a stack of cardboard pieces that can be torn apart to use as building blocks for children to build anything they want using the nut and bolts.
The material characteristics of the cardboard has allowed for a package structure that not only is more sustainable, but also introduces new elements of functionality that empowers user creativity and construction.
With its short product life, and often times wasteful, non-recyclable packaging, children’s toys pose significant threats to our environment. Designing a sustainable packaging requires considerations beyond material and form, but also it’s functionality. “Why can’t packaging become part of the product?”, was the question I asked myself moving forward with this project.
How might we extend the product life of children's toys through thoughtful package structures and digital extensions?