A letter from the Director of Toy Design
By Stephanie Lemoine
As a working mom, the time spent with my kid on weeknights and on weekends is precious. I get to see him grow and I get to learn about his day when we simply play together. With our super busy schedule, I was finding it hard to come up with creative play ideas or to plan activities that didn’t require tons of materials or in-depth Pinterest research. Ultimately, most of the stuff I would try didn’t ignite his imagination the way I had hoped it would.
This got our team thinking. We’d been hearing from parents that they wanted more ways to insert open-ended play into their everyday lives. And with studies that show how pretend play increases language skills, literacy, creative thinking and empathy, we knew there was a need for an easier way for families to experience this kind of important, transformative play.
So we started brainstorming and making stuff. Our amazing team of toy designers sketched, prototyped and playtested with kids and their families. And when we kept hearing that the boxes were giving parents more free time to just play with their kids, we knew we were on to something big.
As we playtested, we made sure each activity in every box met our standards. Much like how a meal kit makes dinner easy to prepare, we wanted parents to feel like they could open the box and get playing - without any last minute runs to the craft store or complicated instructions.
We also wanted to surprise and delight families with unexpected ways to play together using a lot of what they already had in their houses - using a couch crack to grow a veggie garden, turning a kids chair into a pony, or using toilet paper as cash register receipts for your own mini restaurant.
And we didn’t want the activities to just sit on a shelf when they were assembled - or worse, end up in the trash. We made sure each piece of the package could be played with over and over again - and be recyclable, as well as be made of recycled materials whenever possible. In true Sago Mini style, the box becomes part of the play, too!
Of course we couldn’t leave out our beloved characters. Each activity is packaged in an envelope, and accompanied by a letter from one of the Sago Mini pals, asking for your kiddo’s help with a task, or telling them a story about what they’re going to do. This gives your child agency over the project - and they get to feel like they’re helping out a friend!
We can’t wait until your first Sago Mini Box reaches your mailbox. We’d love to see (or hear!) how the boxes make creative, open-ended play easy for your family - please don’t be shy!