“65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”
That’s according to the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum. Skills like creativity, flexibility and the ability to innovate will become more important than ever as today’s children develop into the adults of the future. Einstein was on to something when he said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
And Ken Robinson, a former professor at Warwick University, has spoken out about how parents, schools and employers should foster creativity. In terms of education, he argues that accelerating technological change means children today need a much broader set of skills and competencies such as creativity. However, our outdated, academic-oriented education system does not value these.
“The problem with that preoccupation of a certain style of education is that it marginalizes a great many of the other abilities and talents that kids have, and that they’ll need now and in the future.”
Children need to be given the space – and the stimuli – to learn how to play imaginatively
Gimmicky toys that are essentially one-trick-ponies may have an obvious and immediate appeal but toys that spark imaginative play are likely to have longer-term benefits and ultimately be more fun, too. Children make sense of the world through play and through using their imaginations. Being able to solve problems is the key to kids’ self-confidence. It’s reassuring to know that whatever life throws at you, you’ll be able to handle it.
When we’re designing our toys, we are deliberately not prescriptive about the rules of play.
We want our toys to spark imaginations, to inspire hours of make-believe, to let children themselves set the rules. There are strong links between imaginative play and cognitive ability, after all. A seam of playfulness and fun runs through everything we do.
When we made Lottie’s first building, for example, we created a tree-house with a swing and a slide and a secret trap-door. We didn’t want to build a mini house with an inference of domesticity, an implication of household chores.
The first Lottie doll was made following 18 months of research. We spoke to child psychologists, nutrition experts, parents and – most importantly – to kids. Lottie’s body is based on a 9-year-old kid. The bodies of many dolls are based on 18-to-35-year-old women.
And the message we’re sending out? Let kids be kids. Because childhood is precious. And it’s short.
Inspired by Kids:
Many Lottie Dolls are based on the ideas that creative and imaginative kids have sent to us and our latest toys – launched just before Christmas – are excellent examples:
Inspired by Mari Copeny who - when she was just 11-years-old - wrote to President Obama, asking for his help to resolve a crisis in her home-town of Flint where there hadn’t been clean water since April 2014. Known as Little Miss Flint, because of her activism work, Mari continues to campaign tirelessly to represent the interests of children. She is the youngest Women’s March Youth Ambassador, National Youth Ambassador for the Climate March, and Youth Ambassador for Equality for Her. She has also spoken at the United Nations Girl Up Leadership Conference.
Loyal Companion boy doll
This boy doll Inspired by Hayden Geraghty, from Northern Ireland, who had limited speech until Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to blast off to the International Space Station and the little boy astounded his family by shouting along with the countdown. Hayden – who has now been diagnosed with autism and ADHD – attends university lectures about his favourite topic and is part of a group called The Mars Generation that aims to generate interest in space exploration. The little boy, who used to have difficulty communicating with others, now even shakes hands with his idols.
The Lottie, Finn & Friends range has something for everyone!