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Plan Toys celebrates its 40th anniversary with toy libraries and sustainable playgrounds

Wed 27 Oct 2021 | 04:48 am GMT
Rob Hutchins | Products of Change Writer

Plan Toys has built a Forest of Play from waste materials from its toy production

A toy library that is changing the lives of families and children across its local area, and a Forest of Play Exhibition spanning 64,000 square meters of play stations and climbing frames made from the company’s leftover production materials; Plan Toys certainly knows how to celebrate its 40th anniversary in sustainable style. Marking its fourth decade in the only way that it knows how, the international sustainable toy brand, Plan Toys has been busy developing a roster of creative projects across its home ground in Thailand this year, with the aim of not only driving the message of sustainability within play, but enriching the lives of the local communities its business acts to serve. In Trang, the coastal province of Thailand, and home to the Plan Toys headquarters, a new sustainable toy initiative is beginning to take root. An evolution of the toy company’s online toy library launched in 2019, the firm is now providing new means of enabling parents to ‘enhance their children’s play environment without over-spending or purchasing toys.’ In fact, this year will see Plan Toys expands its Toy Library concept into more toy categories with plans to invest further in its pioneering toy sharing concept through new borrow for free and toy rental initiatives.
Plan Toys is exploring a new toy rental scheme that pairs its play-sets with storybooks to enhance learning for kids.
“In Trang, we are starting to lend toys straight out of our factory while also working with local libraries in the community to expand the borrowing system,” explains the toy maker in a statement issued on the company website. “Additionally, in cooperation with TK Park Bangkok (Thailand Knowledge Park, an educational hub for children and the public) we are creating toy sets to pair with storybooks so children can further strengthen their reading and communication skills through play. “So far, we have designed 30 toy sets as test models in Bangkok and hope to expand this concept to all of the TK Park branches.” Meanwhile, the firm is continuing to explore a toy rental scheme that will include a variety of toys and play categories for children and families across the local area. The concept also gives children the chance to pair their toy sets with a library of storybooks to help offer families additional learning.
Plan Toys has been constructing a 64,000 square metre Forest of Play made from waste materials from its toy production.
Vitool Viraponsavan, Plan Toys founder, said: “We believe that play can help enhance the development of a child physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually; and although this may seem like a small result of our larger toy production, we know that the educational progress and personal growth that children experience because of our toys is important and helps ultimately change the world for the better.” For 40 years, Plan Toys has been producing toys free from harmful chemicals, and each are crafted using eco-friendly materials. “We also prioritise our employees’ well-being and ensure that even our packaging is non-toxic and good for the planet,” continued Viraponsavan. “Furthermore, we have created larger play opportunities for children through our Forest of Play exhibitions and have been able to witness so much joy and development as a result.” A concept that brings the Plan Toys founder’s vision for a nature-inspired developmental play space to life in the Trang Province, the Forest of Play Exhibition spreads across nearly 64,000 square metres to present a series of nine play stations and seven playhouses, all of which are made from the leftover materials from the company’s toy production methods. In a nod to Viraponsavan’s passion for letting nothing go to waste, even restroom tiles throughout the exhibition are made from waste materials from the company’s toy business. “These first 40 years have only scratched the surface of what I believe to be our great ability to inspire change through Sustainable Play,” said Viraponsavan. “Even if it starts with me an the company as a whole, I know that – by making small changes in our own lives and encouraging our children to do the same – we’ll witness greater change across the world.”
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