Monday, 14 February 2011

Observing Children play.

I have spent quite a bit of time recently in coffee shops - they make great meeting places for 1-2-1 business meetings- and often there is a little area set aside for children with children's table and chairs and some indestructible games. I always watch how the children react to their special area. It is invariable the same. They run to it, look around and then pick up a chair and move it. If its a boy child they always pick up the chair, turn it upside down and then lose interest. Girls will often sit at the table, or move the chair nearer to their mother. The chair does not immediately become part of their play.

When I was designing Fairytale Childrens Furniture(R) I wanted to add an element of imaginative play and tested the prototypes on children for some time before we went into production. It still surprises (and delights) me to see how quickly the children interact with the chairs; how quickly they begin to talk to the character on the chair.

Another thing which I noticed whilst watching children was how many of the small children climbed into a chair knee-first and then turned round to sit down. It is so easy for the chair to overbalance as the child leans on the chair back to turn and sit and for the child to crash face first onto the floor.

When choosing a child's chair make sure it feels stable. Legs which spread beyond the seat area are more stable. Chairs with arms should have arms which do not project wider than the seat area as children can often put their weight on an arm and lean over to reach something.

Rocking chairs should always have rockers with a shallow arc which projects beyond the seat and preferably has "Stops" at each end of the rockers. http://www.fairytalechildrensfurniture.co.uk

Its great fun designing furniture for children, but you have to design for use and foreseeable misuse. As we know children can possess a great talent for finding unusual ways to use things. Some have a greater capacity than others for finding ways to injure themselves, my daughter when young being one of them. But that's another story...

The founder of Fairy Tale Children's Furniture, Zandra Johnson is a passionate advocate of imaginative play for children. Studies reveal free time spent playing make-believe helps children develop critical cognitive skills. Fairytale Furniture helps build those skills through imaginative play. Download your free guide to Imaginative Play at FAIRYTALECHILDRENSFURNITURE.CO.UK

Friday, 4 February 2011

Looking Back On The Year

This is my first real blog, rather than the brief postings under "Fairytale News" on our website, which was supposed to be serious company related news. Well, for one thing I find it hard to be serious and for another the ethos of the company is about having fun.

I have had this blog spot for ages now and been too scared to put pen to paper (so to speak) "What do I write about? What can I say that will interest people? Fairytale Children's Furniture is about furniture and even I, who love furniture, can't talk about it every time."

So I have decided to blog about having fun with your children, finding things you can do together, play together and of course tell stories - and sometimes talk about furniture, just a little.

During the past year I have been doing just that on Twitter and Face Book. Every day I post a "Daily Fun Tip" at mid day and these are building up into quite a resource. Please join us and join in and "Like" our pages; it would be great to have you. http://twitter.com/FairytaleChairs http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairytale-Childrens-Furniture/165908516755979

Still on the theme of having fun, our monthly newsletter for children has been going out and we now give away a free story book of your choice when you subscribe. These newsletters are for children and will never sell to you, market or advertise. They contain ideas for games, for having fun, simple cooking recipes, silly rhymes and nature notes. Finding all the ideas is great fun and if something makes me smile, or feel like a kid, I save it. I just love being a Kidult!

There, - done it - my first tiny blog. Phew, it wasn't as hard as I imagined.
Please join in and share our favourite childhood game or pastime.

The founder of Fairy Tale Children's Furniture, Zandra Johnson is a passionate advocate of imaginative play for children. Studies reveal free time spent playing make-believe helps children develop critical cognitive skills. Fairytale Furniture helps build those skills through imaginative play. Download your free guide to Imaginative Play at FAIRYTALECHILDRENSFURNITURE.CO.UK