Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bring Your Raceway to Life!

Hello! My name is Danielle Wolfe and I am a Buyer for Discount School Supply®. I select products for several categories including Dramatic Play, Blocks, Science, Math, Puzzles and Inspirational items. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is designing new products. With so many categories, inspiration can come from anywhere.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a son whom I home-schooled. Because of this, I am always looking at products with him in mind. I always wonder how he would use it or how he would play with it. This helps me to see products, not just as a designer, but through the eyes of the child.

When he was younger, one of my son’s favorite activities was playing with cars. He loved racing them across pretend roads on my kitchen floor. My goal was to create a toy that cultivated learning, yet retained this simple joy of racing cars. I wanted to create a racing product that would allow two children to play together, but would still be entertaining for one child, playing independently.

The result is RACEWAY, a two-sided wooden racing tower with six cars. With the two sides, kids can race cars down the angled drops. All the while, they’re tracking their progress while learning about angles, velocity and force. The tower is made of solid wood, which is my favorite material to work with. The six cars are also made of wood. Because of this, the cars make a satisfying “thunking” sound while racing for the finish line. I designed the cars to be a little thicker, as I wanted them to be easy to follow, even for younger children.

RACEWAY was as much fun to design as it is to play with. I hope that you have a chance to see it on our website and watch the accompanying video that really brings RACEWAY to life.

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