Fafunia may appear to be only a bunch of quirky play things. A bit unusual, interesting and maybe even beautiful. But what can it really do for your child or setting? There are three main reasons why you should consider using products from Fafunia or start collaborating with us on improving the world of children! FUN
Fafunia is designed to be fun. We work with a design philosophy that demands open ended products that can adapt to play as it evolves. We use shapes, textures, colours and simplicity to achieve that.
We work really hard on making products that inspire children to find their own stories and ideas rather than following ours. We want the products to have endless possibilities and not have an obvious purpose so that the child will feel a bit puzzled and inspired to create and collaborate with other children.
Fafu is all about brain development.
Tom Shea our key imaginator has a passion for childhood and works passionately to create awareness of parents and practitioners to recognise how the brain develops and why we need to trust children more and slow down so that they will have time to enjoy their childhood and develop the skills and understanding for further learning.
Early childhood is the most important time for brain development. It is the time in children‘s lives where they start building peer relationships and the foundation for the people they will become. It is also a vital time for brain development.
The development of our brain structure is based on two main factors; experience shapes the properties of our neurons (experience dependent plasticity) and there are distinct time windows during early development that shape brain function. This means that while children play they are also organising their way of thought and how they acquire information and store it. They organise information based on the sensory stimulation that is associated with it and not the content of the information. The brain will then build systems of knowledge (neural networks) connecting together related information and enabling children to recall facts, evaluate circumstances, and solve problems.
The brain is designed to form memories as a survival strategy so that it can understand and predict an outcome of a possibly fatal situation. When threatened, the brain shifts into reactive mode and treats information as a short term resource for survival. But when children are relaxed and enjoy learning, the brain will reflect on the information and a real learning opportunity occurs.
This is why we all struggle with learning things that bore us. The brain reacts to boredom in the same way it reacts to stress and anxiety and fails to reflect on the information and store it long term. We need to engage children in a variety of sensory stimulation and offer them opportunities to explore, imagine, and create.
All of our products are developed in this scientific context. That means that we look at research on how the brain learns and develops and we connect it to educational theories.
When we design our products we put a lot of thought into them sparking collaborations during play. We want children to talk, make up stories, and take on roles to play out those stories together. We want them to build relationships and understand how friendship can change their lives.
So we do the same in our everyday work!
We collaborate and play with other practitioners, companies and early years settings. We build friendships and through our collective work we hope to change the way that the world sees early childhood and children so that their environment at home and in their educational setting will trust them more deeply and inspire them more powerfully!
Working with early years educators also means that our products are tested with children and practitioners before we produce them and we know that they work and add value to children’s learning experiences.