Today’s challenge of children toys on the market is multi lateral. The most of the market is covered with bad quality and far-from-eco plastic toys. Designing skill-developing toys for young children from wood is a big challenge, and a possibility to actively divert the trends. There is a wide-round consensus that those toys, which are intentionally designed to develop a given skill is more effective in the methodological approach. This could be considered as the main design target, keeping the toy a ‘joyful toy’ not a therapy tool. Furthermore a market niche was identified: very few toys are aimed to develop spatial perception.
The “Magical gate” is a skill developing toy for children of 4-6 ages for developing the understanding 2D projections of 3D objects (spatial perception). The basic mechanism of the toy is to help the child to understand the two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional bodies. The ‘frame story’ is that the magical gate is only letting through those, who can pack the car properly. If you make a mistake, your baggage will be swiped off of your car. The toy set consists of a schematic car with flat top, multi-coloured wooden blocks, and a gate. The gate is a bulky frame in real; by sliding in different cards the character or the contour of the gate’s inner cross-section can be changed. The task is to recognise the limits given by the shape of the entrance, and try to tailor the baggage accordingly on the car. The toy is inexpensive to produce (simple geometry of the parts) (1), easy-to-understand (no need for complex instructions) (2), meets the demand of the market (because of the lack of similar games (3), educational and innovative.