“It’s amazing how much growth happens in the first few years,” notes Dr. Deb Weber, head of Child Development at Fisher-Price. “At six months, most babies are just starting to sit up. A few months later, they’re taking those first tentative steps. Then before you know it, they’re running all over. And cognitive development is happening just as fast.”
Understanding just how babies change and grow is something our toy designers pay a lot of attention to. Take, for example, Laugh & Learn® toys.
Before Fisher-Price introduced Laugh & Learn toys in 2004, we did a great deal of research and testing. And that led to a simple but important understanding—that babies learn better when they feel at home, exploring the everyday world around them. The idea was a hit, and Puppy and his friends have been well-loved ever since.
Ten years ago, there were no smart devices, tablets, or streaming content on TVs and laptops. You couldn’t program a DVR to record your favorite show. Or update your favorite app (what’s an app?) in a single touch, like you can today.
We challenged our design team to come up with something new and better as Laugh & Learn toys approached their 10th anniversary. Because research was so fundamental to the original line, we went back into homes and talked to families again. And found out that babies haven’t really changed much in the past 10 years, but parents sure have. They expect content to be adaptive. They like immediate responses. And they really, really want toys to last longer.
Enter Smart Stages™ technology, now available on select Laugh & Learn toys. With age-appropriate songs, phrases and sounds on different levels of play, these toys can now keep up with the changes little ones grow through. Flip a switch and the learning content changes, adapting to baby’s current stage of development. “It’s an exciting step in creating toys that keep babies curious and engaged, so they want to come back and make new discoveries,” says Dr. Weber.
When Fisher met Price
Putting toys to the test: learning from the experts
It all starts with safety
How a Fisher-Price designer (and mom) was inspired to change how babies can sleep.
How we got out moo back: Sounds sights, and what makes the Little People® Farm timeless
Have a seat: A short story of how sitting a baby down became a new kind of "sit me up" seat