Skoolzy may be a familiar name for those of you who have browsed our e-shop or taken part in our recently-concluded Building Blocks programme. The California-based company develops and sells quality educational toys and games for children up to 5 years old. Their colourful, hardy and multi-use products are great for learning through play and are well-loved by parents, grandparents, educators and therapists in the United States!
Learning Vessels is proud to be the official distributor for Skoolzy products in South East Asia! Here, we have Skoolzy’s CEO, Bart, sharing her story about how her passion for early childhood development led her to start the company.
1. What is your background and how did you start designing learning tools for children?
I worked in Silicon Valley, California, as an engineer, and have a PhD in Science. After my daughter was born prematurely, I worked closely with her to support her growth and development. I loved watching her learn through play but there weren’t enough resources out there at the time to support our needs. I immersed myself in research, learning about different teaching methods, and really connected with the child-centered approach of Montessori.
I started off developing digital resources to use with my daughter, that I would share with other families I knew. Encouraged by the positive feedback I received, I decided to invest myself fully in developing fun educational resources for young children, and within a few years, I moved into physical products and started designing and producing early learning toys and games.
2. What were the gaps in the market that you saw and hoped to fill with Skoolzy when you first started?
I realized there was a gap in the market for learning tools to support early childhood development. The more I looked into this area, the more I realized that there wasn’t a range of simple, affordable, fun learning toys for under 5s.
At Skoolzy, we’re big proponents of learning through play and know how important it is for a child’s social, emotional, and physical development. Learning toys are a great way for young children to play and develop their social and cognitive skills. This is why all our products have been carefully designed for maximum fun while improving early childhood development skills, including hand dexterity, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, logic, and color & letter recognition.
3. What makes Skoolzy products unique?
We set out to produce a range of high quality, engaging products to entertain and stimulate little minds without the need for batteries or smart devices so that children can be naturally immersed in the toy without the distractions of flashing lights, repetitive sounds, or electronic screens. We designed our toys to allow children to take the lead and play at their own pace, and as they grow from babyhood through to toddlerhood and beyond, they’ll be able to return to the toy and enjoy taking their learning experience to the next level.
We’ve designed each toy to grow with the child at each stage of their development, and provide a unique. bespoke downloadable activity guide with ideas and tips on the different ways to interact with each toy, so that families can get the most out of every toy at each stage.
4. Who are your main customers and what have they been saying about Skoolzy and the products?
Our target is parents, therapists, and educators of children under 5. We’ve been overwhelmed with the reaction we’ve received, and we feel very fortunate knowing how our toys have helped children in their everyday growth and development. We are often sent messages of encouragement and photos of young children immersed in our toys. Every child is wonderful and unique, and we try to design toys that can help children across the board, no matter their stage or ability.
5. What keeps you going?
I’m motivated by seeing children having fun and interacting with the toys in such a positive way. We don’t rest on our laurels, we’re always striving to add to our range with high quality, engaging products, and further support families in their child’s early learning.
One of our favourite quotes at Skoolzy HQ is from George Bernard Shaw, who famously said; “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” And at Skoolzy, we still love playing. We’re just big kids, playing with little toys!
6. What is your vision for the partnership with Learning Vessels in Southeast Asia? What do you hope to achieve with this partnership?
We love Learning Vessels and the work you do to support children’s literacy and numeracy in Southeast Asia. Early intervention and support are integral to supporting healthy development. They are areas we’re really passionate about and we’re excited to partner up with you and offer our range of educational toys and games to support early childhood le