Two Melbourne sisters are part of a growing movement to steer children away from devices and back to traditional learning products that will capture both the heart and imagination.
Willow’s Fairyland is the brainchild of Penne and Lucy Whyte, daughters of Robert Whyte of Aero, an iconic Melbourne brand specialising in furniture and giftware for the past 40+ years. The sisters have been involved with retail all of their working life and have extensive experience in delivering on-trend products through the Aero Plus business. Willow’s Fairyland is no exception.
The premise behind Willow’s Fairyland is to cater for the growing number of distractions and increased anxiety that excessive use of technology can result in. “We saw how our kid’s mood would change after too much time on television and devices and how it would take them a certain period to ‘come down’ from screen time” said Penne “this wasn’t good for open communication and often left our kids feeling withdrawn and isolated that their lives didn’t relate to those they were seeing on the devices”.
“We could see the positive impact that products such as Elf on the Shelf was having with our kids but felt that this was only for a specific time of the year and we would have to develop creative ways to inspire the imagination and creativity of our kids” said Lucy “other products in the market weren’t portable, so in our mind, Willow’s Fairyland is the perfect solution to fill this void, 365 days per year”
Willow’s Fairyland is a generous pack that includes:
- The Fairy House, a portable, handcrafted timber box that houses the fairies and acts as a convenient note holder from which the communication with Willow (the fairy) takes place
- Willow's Fairyland Book, with a range of characters who explain the way the fairy house works (this is also the first of many books);
- Durable and Play Mat that serves as a handy Travel Bag and comes with a draw string bag to pack everything away in, in one quick pull.
- Sticker set to personalise the house
“The reason that we love this product so much is that our experience has been that this is about promoting mindfulness in kids and encouraging awareness of their feelings, no matter what is happening in their lives”. Explains Penne. “We have spent the past 12 months testing this on our kids and those children in our extended family and friendship group. It is amazing the learnings, growth and benefit that we have seen delivered to children”.
The Fairy House allows kids to communicate with their fairy for any number of reasons, in both good and difficult times. “We found that when children are going through emotionally difficult times, they can get additional external reassurance and guidance, showing them that someone is always with them through tough times.” Comments Lucy “Later in life when they find out that their fairy is really mum, it becomes a lovely bonding between mother and child.”
The irony of the role that technology has played in the development of Willow’s Fairyland is not lost on the sisters “We have a product that is truly global, we have sourced a team of artists, illustrators and manufacturers through various collaboration platforms to make our dream a reality” said the girls “We understand the power of technology and devices, it is just ensuring that we demonstrate to our children the value that these tools can bring, without taking away imagination and the ability to believe in magic and a world where anything is possible”
Willows Fairyland has just been launched on Kickstarter
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Thanks so much, every bit of support really helps,
Penne and Lucy