“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.”
Mary Lou Cook
Think about your best memories as a child. What were you doing?
Building a fort? Cooking with grandma?
30 years later, I still remember making a force meter out of rubber bands and paperclips with my dad one rainy Sunday.
Sara’s best memory is building and decorating a working kite for field day at school.
We started toucanBox because we believe creative thinking is the number one skill for the future. Yet in our experience as mum of 3 children and Montessori teacher respectively, we’ve seen funding for arts in schools being cut, and busy lifestyles or screens getting in the way of imagination. We know that children learn best by “doing”, especially if they’re having fun, yet “hands-on” time seems to be in fierce competition with “screen” time. With toucanBox, we want to make it easy to unleash children’s creativity; having fun making things, learning in the process, creating memories and asking “why?”.
This is our story, now start yours.
Unleashing your creativity,
one box at a time.
Crafting is all about concentration, uncertainty, solving problems, looking at things differently and asking questions. Just look at the pictures of the little faces in our toucanBox community and you’ll see intense looks of concentration, tongues sticking out; children completely absorbed in what they’re doing.
Studies show that 4-year olds who are able to concentrate for longer periods of time and persist with a task are more likely to be successful in their educational achievements later in life. Our goal when setting up toucanBox was just that: create more opportunities, explore new themes and techniques, embark on a journey, and spend quality time together. But we wouldn’t be successful in our mission without a few guiding principles:
Are you ready to unleash your creativity?
Who we are...
The team behind every toucanBox creation is a dedicated group of former teachers, educators and artists. We’ve all spent time teaching and designing curricula for children in one capacity or another. Education and creativity are important to us as individuals and we bring that passion and knowledge to bear on every project we develop for our customers at toucanBox.
Our Design Principles
- Learning via self-discovery
- Hands-on experiences
When we sit down to create a new toucanBox we start with one main question: what’s fun for children? Giving kids something they want to do is at the heart of every project. And naturally the teaching, the investigation, the engagement all falls into place. When faced with a toucanBox project, your child should find something to challenge them, but ultimately succeed.
Our projects are designed with the firm belief that when children work with their hands, they gain a very concrete understanding of materials and concepts. They see how something works. They make more neural connections. Abstract learning evolves from concrete experiences they have had. Tell someone what to do and they’ll struggle to understand; show someone what to do and they’ll learn much faster, and make their own discoveries along the way.
Although every toucanBox has a specific outcome, as designers and educators we feel very strongly that the process of creating is the most important part of the experience. Children should be encouraged to experiment, adding their own take. For example, our Modern Art project tells the story of how Mondrian preferred to paint with primary colours. So kids can follow in Mondrian’s footsteps, or mix their primary colours to create something unique.
What is STEAM?
toucanBox projects are designed to cultivate a child’s natural curiosity to learn. And while our inspiration stretches across many methods of learning and curricula, from the National Curriculum to Montessori, each box ultimately champions STEAM. Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths as key touchpoints, children should be thinking creatively: observing, designing, inventing, expressing themselves and solving problems to complete their project. All whilst having a great deal of fun.
Science encourages children to observe the world around them. Our projects inspire them to make a hypothesis, experiment away and test their results.
Understanding technology is an essential skill for the future. Hands-on activities can teach core tech skills, from following instructions to sequencing.
We want children to use a baseline knowledge of science and maths to create their own inventions, developing engineering skills, finding out how and why things work and using creativity in technical ways.
toucanBox naturally covers a wide range of art skills, encouraging new approaches, techniques and introducing new materials. But also projects encourage children to express themselves, from role play to interactive games.
Maths finds its way into a lot of activities, from problem solving to counting, measuring to exploring shapes. All applied in a practical, real life manner, to make maths development less technical and much more hands-on.
STEAM encourages children to think logically and practically, solve real-world problems and develop technical passions, building core skills for their future.
Take a look at what some of our
toucaneers have been crafting recently
"We really enjoyed the craft. Roya learnt to read her name from the toucanBox. She gets really excited when it arrives!"
toucanBox has a fantastically diverse team of approximately 50 people, split between the office in West London and the factory in Hounslow. We’re passionate about our product and what we do. Our mission is to unleash the creativity in everyone and this extends to our vibrant workspace that is set up to give people the tools and inspiration to test their limits, and do something they can be proud of.
We live our values by how we behave in achieving our mission and vision to customers and our investors.
- We challenge assumptions and propose better options
- We are open to being challenged
- We create new ideas that prove useful
- We embrace change
Love to learn
- We are eager to develop new skills to grow in our jobs
- We continuously seek people’s feedback to better ourselves
- We listen well
- We share knowledge
We get it done
- We focus on impact rather than effort
- We bring solutions rather than problems
- Our colleagues can rely on us to get the job done
- We take smart risks
- We give open and honest feedback, even when it’s hard/uncomfortable
- We say what we think even if it’s controversial
- We treat people with respect
- We are positive
- We have a sense of humour and don’t take ourselves too seriously
- We have more than one string to our bow
- We care intensely about toucanBox’s success
- We continuously seek to understand our customers better
- We seek what is best for toucanBox, rather than for ourselves or our group
Think you could make a difference?