ColorFall is a creative play toy imagined and designed by my project partner, Brad Hoffman, and myself. We first got connected with Marbles this past fall as they hosted a design contest for our Product Design class at Columbia College Chicago. Marbles challenged us to work in teams to develop a product for their 2012 line. The toys that we developed would be judged on how well they fit with the Marbles philosophy, both brain beneficial and fun.
Our project was inspired by a set of domino tiles that I had as a child and the unique way in which I would play with them. I remember using the tiles to set up small shapes such as flowers and the sun as part of my domino runs. This memory motivated us to develop a set of high quality wooden tiles in various colors that will encourage creative play in a “color-by-number” presentation.
ColorFall is set to provide 20 design cards, which will challenge users to create the pattern they see on the card in full scale by lining up the tiles on any flat surface. Only once the entire ColorFall run is set up can the starter tile be pushed over, setting off a chain reaction to reveal a mosaic work of art!
This type of play exercises the parietal lobe, which is concerned with information about spatial relationships, perception and magnitude. It also works to build or rebuild small motor skills and teaches patience.
After 15 weeks of development, working off of constant feedback from the creative team at Marbles, we presented our toys for a final review. The competition was tight and there were some awesome concepts generated by many of our classmates (keep a look out for How to Make a Cowboy Take a Bath, developed by James Schmidt and Winslow Harte, set to release later this year). In the end, ColorFall was chosen by a panel of Marbles staff as the winning design and we were awarded with a cash prize, internship in the
Marbles Brain Workshop, and the thrilling opportunity to see our “brain baby” end up on Marbles shelves.
Brad and I are currently working with the rest of the Brain Workshop team to finish developing ColorFall. We have
currently included such designs as The Eiffel Tower, A Garden Gnome, and a Liger. It was our hope from the beginning that ColorFall would inspire it’s users to create designs from their own imaginations. In that spirit, we would like to open up an invitation to submit your own ideas for the next great mosaic masterpiece to be included on the ColorFall design cards.
So let Colorfall tiles be your paint and the world of flat surfaces be your canvas! Exercise your visual perception, small motor coordination, and creative muscles by creating works of mosaic art that appear only once you knock them down. Be sure to keep your eyes out for ColorFall at your local Marbles: The Brain Store or online and “like” Marbles: The Brain Store on Facebook for additional ColorFall news and designs!