In Our Room – Squareplay!

Each week we showcase a design product we love, something that we think would fit perfectly within our dream IO Kids’ room – alongside our IO Bunk Pod and IO Doodle Box, of course!

It’s a common observation when buying for children: “They played with the box more than they played with the dinosaur/ racing car track/ toy castle!” And, even taking into account mild annoyance about wasted expense and “Why do I bother?” who can deny the pleasure that comes from seeing children use their limitless imagination and inventiveness to create something out of an object that appears, to the jaundiced eye, to be nothing?

Here at IOKids Design we cherish and nurture the creative capabilities of our children but we have to confess that our biggest love is reserved for pieces that do those things without impacting adversely on the look and style of our living spaces. Which is why Oloop’s Squareplay, which won a 2007 Red Dot Award for Design Concept “Best of the Best: Education” is a firm favourite – not only within the IOK bedroom, but, thanks to its easy-to-fold-down design, anywhere we choose to go: the world’s your oyster.

In fact, playing at being in an oyster shell is just one place imagination might take you in the Squareplay. Enveloped in it on your own, or with others, its form – simple, quadratic, neither house, nor teepee nor space ship – is not readily associated with any one thing and therefore gives unlimited scope for dreaming, imagining and creating, whether in or outside of it, alone or together. Its appeal may well vary from child to child – is it the realisation of the fact that you can use your body to alter your space and surroundings? Is it a return-to-the-womb cosiness? No matter – it’s bright, beautiful in its simplicity, soft (a mix of pes, cotton and PU foam) and full of infinite possibilities – some of which are demonstrated in the DVD (, which is included in the textile bag in which the Squareplay comes. All in all, the perfect space in which to let a child’s imagination soar, before setting their nighttime dreams free in the nurturing space of the IO Kids Bunk Pod.