After doing design research and looking at products on the market, I began ideating possible ideas to teach children emotions. Examples of ideations can be seen to the left.
Reaching Out to the Industry
I reached out to industry professionals in the process of creating this toy as well.
Christopher Stapleton also introduced me to the idea of the interplay of story, which consists of evaluating three elements that allow the imagination to flow: play, story, and game. Play looks at how people think, who they are, and their response to a story. Story is a universal language to send the right message. Game communicates the story in the right way. Christopher was kind enough to have, check-ins, critiques, and feedback to help elevate not just my toy but his understanding of the process of applying play, story, and game through mediums.
Understanding the Story
The next part of the process was taking feedback from industry professionals and classmates and writing out possible solutions. While talking with professionals, I changed what the toy would teach. Instead of teaching how to identify emotions, I would teach how to manage emotions. This drawing below shows breaking down this process and how the interplay of story (play, story, and game) would apply to each step of the process.
After re-evaluating the toy and discovering that the best toys allowed children to be storytellers, I realized the story the toy needed to tell was about stories themselves. Taking the idea of a mad lib and translating that into a toy, I divided stories into characters, worlds, and events. A random combination of these would allow a child to tell unique stories. In addition, a whiteboard mask was developed.
CAD Models and Rendering
Fusion 360 and Keyshot were used to render the model. Masks were also developed to let children still draw emotions out to help act out their scenes. Multiple revisions occured.
After final revisions and graphic design, a spinner, drawing board (instead of a mask), and an at-home items list was developed.