We're taking a fresh look at what matters to kids: Pure Play.
- Björn Jeffery, CEO & Co-Founder, Toca Boca
January 2011. We had just spent four months researching and preparing for Toca Boca to start becoming a real company. It was time to start making things happen! And it all began with us announcing our name and our new website.
Almost four years later, a lot of things have changed, and it’s time for a refresh. Today we are launching a brand new TocaBoca.com — and we can’t wait for you to explore it. The site is completely redesigned to better portray who we are as a company, the different products that we make for kids, and what we believe in. Yes, we still make apps of course — but we also make a lot of other great things that we would like to show you.
So, what’s new? The biggest change is that we are launching Toca Magazine on TocaBoca.com. We will publish articles and more for parents on a daily basis, and our intention is to be a more distinct voice in the community at large. We are starting to speak up about what we think is important. And for us the most important thing is Pure Play. Free, unstructured, kid-directed play.
Play is crucial for kids’ development
While we wish that this was a topic so obvious and abundant that we wouldn’t need to add to it, this is unfortunately not the case. Despite evidence that recess offers kids cognitive, social, and physical benefits, many schools have reduced or eliminated unstructured recess to make more time for academics. And although academics can be great, they are not — and shouldn’t be — a replacement for play. But it is looking like it is heading that way, with unstructured playtime being lost to make room for rigorous academic preparation, extracurricular activities and a structured regimen intended to help kids prepare for the future.
We’re writing about letting kids be kids. Letting kids do things without a predetermined outcome. Or simply put: letting kids just play.
Although it is done with the best of intentions, one has to ask whether it is working? And even if it is — at what cost? Childhood — something that will never return if lost — is potentially lost in a race for a hypothetically perfect future. This is a high price to pay, I think. That’s why we’re making the case for more play in kids’ lives, and writing about the benefits of letting kids be kids during the few years of their lives where that can happen. Letting kids make their own mistakes and learn from them. Letting kids do things without a predetermined outcome. Or simply put: letting kids just play. This is, after all, what Toca Boca does. Products that encourage play.
We believe in the power of Pure Play
Although novelties are always exciting, it is equally interesting to look at the things that aren’t changing — our values and beliefs that we started the company with. Our new site marks our commitment to what we think is important and points to where we as a company are going. We believe in the power of Pure Play. We always have. Looking back to 2011, our aim was to treat these new devices as toys that enabled superpowers for kids. Today that is still our ambition and intention. But as we see that kids are getting less time to play, explore and have fun, we need to tell a different side of that story, too. That playing is healthy, fun and a fantastic way of growing up.
I hope you’ll join us on this journey and that you will find many things to both play with — and think about — as we move forward. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and come along for the ride.Björn Jeffery CEO & Co-Founder Toca Boca