Written by Matt Maxwell, designer of the Step2 WonderBall Fun House™
When designing children’s products for Step2, there is always a need to deliver a balance between innovation and familiarity.
Similar to other product industries, we are in a business where people are asking “What’s new?” Moms always want something new, but with tried and true format (also know as the comfort zone). The WonderBall Fun House™ is a good example of an idea that delivers on that premise.
Children’s playhouses are an established product segment, and seemed like the perfect area to apply ball play. The playhouse format allows children to play in and around the house, and the height of a roof is a natural element to begin the downward journey of the balls.
Gravity is not only free, which is a good thing when you are trying to stay mindful of product cost, but is also a great thing for kids to learn about during their play time. “Put and take” play is also something very key with this product. Kids get to see the effect of where the balls travel when they put them into play.
Each corner of the house provides unique ball travel, and makes the kids curious to see what happens when they drop the balls in the different places. And the great thing is they can repeat this process over and over again.
As a playhouse, we still wanted to offer the key elements: a covered, but open space of their own, doorway play, mailbox, kitchenette features, etc. Playhouse walls also provide containment for the balls when playtime is over. This playhouse provides low-tech innovation, but also hours of reaching, dropping, bouncing, watching, rolling, chasing, tossing, discovery and fun for kids and parents.
This playhouse is available for purchase NOW on Step2.com!