Friday, 23 September 2016

Ravensburger Wins Prestigious Awards

Ravensburger have been awarded three accolades in the Practical Pre-School and Parent Teacher Update Awards for 2016.

The awards took place last week and have a strong reputation for recognising the best in educational resources, toys, equipment, books, multimedia and many other products aimed at pre-school, childcare and key stages 1 and 2.

The top award of overall winner in the Classic Toys & Games category went to Ravensburger’s Teletubbies My First Floor Puzzle. The second award was for Big Ben with Clock 3D Puzzle® which won Gold in the Toys & Games category for children over 5. Third award went to Thomas and Friends My First memory®, which scooped a Silver in the Classic Toys & Games category. These award wins mark a continuation in a string of successes for the company.

Ravensburger Product Managers, Sindy Randall and Sarah Stevens, were responsible for the development of the Teletubbies My First Floor Puzzle and describe the processes behind the creation of this seemingly simple product: “We identified the need for a simple floor puzzle for children aged 2+.  Our experience and observations of play over many years had taught us that children of this age can find larger floor puzzles frustrating, because they cannot easily reach all sides and often have to lean over or even sit on the puzzle in an attempt to try and complete it.  This results in pieces becoming dislodged and causes huge frustration. Hence we needed to create a puzzle where children could reach all the sides, and assemble it fairly easily.

“It’s essential that children can complete the challenge of assembling a puzzle, because it encourages them to move on to bigger challenges, and builds confidence in all areas of their life.  We carefully considered the piece count too, and chose 16 because it offered enough of a challenge, gave us a good balanced puzzle piece and also resulted in the majority of pieces having 1 straight edge.  Straight edges are a good reference point and help young children sort and assemble a jigsaw more easily. For the material we selected a very thick and strong double laminated FSC® board to ensure the pieces could withstand plenty of wear and tear, and felt really nice to hold”.

Sindy continued: “Puzzles are a great way to develop colour and shape matching skills, hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity.  But for these elements to work really well, the design is key.  The size of the images and characters, and the amount of background detail needs to be carefully considered to give plenty of visual clues, to ensure easy assembly of the puzzle pieces.  Colour is also vital; Is there an even spread across the design; Are all the colours clear & bright; Will they print well and look good on the finished pack?  We go through many different design stages to make sure everything is right, often mocking up packaging at an early stage to see what it will potentially look like on shelf.  We also work closely with the licensor, getting their approval at every stage.  It’s valuable getting their input and thoughts too – especially with a property like Teletubbies, which was created by the legendary Anne Wood and has such a strong heritage”.

From these comments, it’s clear that a ‘simple’ floor puzzle probably isn’t that simple after all!  Ravensburger’s Product Development team has over 40 years of experience behind them, which informs and influences every decision.  Over the years this team has won many awards, so despite appearances their work obviously isn’t ‘child’s play’!

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