In an era of instant gratification and on-demand everything, the world has been overrun by fast, hyper-efficient, overstimulating toys and gadgets. There is a quiet resurgence of the slow, the deliberate, and the handcrafted. When Thierry Bourret, a French toy distributor realize it, he decided to launch the Asobi "slow toys" distributor in 2011. Since then, a non-stop campaign has been waged to persuade toy customers and the industry of the value of timeless toys over trends and commercial licenses.
The return of the slow is often proclaimed as a new era of hyper-localism, family-run businesses, and small-batch manufacturing. It is a comeback to a more authentic lifestyle.The Slow Toy movement is based on the Slow Life philosophy (living slowly) and strives to promote the use of "real toys," which encourage imagination, learning, and children's active participation in play.
Slow Toys are battery-free, educational, and environmentally friendly toys that are almost exclusively made of noble and natural materials (such as cardboard, paper, wood, felt, cork, etc.).
Their main benefit is that, because they are "static" toys with no "special effects" such as lights, music, and movements, they do not take the spotlight from children while they are playing.
Have you ever been disappointed when your little ones prefer to play with the box rather than their new toy, or when an expensive toy breaks after only half an hour of play or is forgotten in a corner after only a few game days?
This happens because toys that turn children into passive spectators of their performances are not stimulating, fun, or educational. That is to say: children have not been taken into account in its design process. Furthermore, to save money on production, They are made of plastic, which makes them rather flimsy.
Slow toys are ethically produced with respectful raw materials making their price a little more expensive, however, their greater resistance to use and their timelessness make them a good investment as they are generational gifts inherited between siblings or even from parents to children.
The movement that defends this type of toy categorized them based on use, benefit, temporality, and manufacture. It also seeks to divulge them among consumers and manufacturers to stand up their use and encourage families to reflect on the criteria for selecting play materials, their functionality, and the type of activity they inspired.
Some of the greatest toys ever made were slow toys and they allowed the future generation to engage in mindful play based on learning.