sigi News – Page 2 – sigikid
FREE SHIPPING: ORDERS $35+

sigikid - and how everything started!

 

Once upon a time in Germany....

We often are asked how sigikid started out and here are a few facts about us that you might not know yet:

sigikid was founded in 1968 in Germany by my parents. Back in the day, there were not many plush toys available that were really soft and cuddly. Most toys were in fact quite stiff and naturalistic looking. My parents saw an opportunity to create soft toys that were safe, cute and cuddly, but that could also be machine washed and handed down to the next generation.

My parents were also convinced that cuddling and playing is a fundamental need you never grow out of - which is also the reason for why we  have a designer plush line called the BEASTS, that are really more for adults than kids. Over the years sigikid became the go-to brand in Europe for playfully different plush toys, dolls, rattles, music boxes, and organic baby toys from the highest quality materials with a focus on imaginative, contemporary design.

  • Where does the name come from and how do you pronounce it?

This is actually a funny story. My mother’s nick name is Sigi (pronounced with a hard g, as in “garden”), short for Sigrid. And my brother is the first kid, thus sigikid! sigikid took off in 1968 and is until today a true family business, with my brother at the helm in Germany and my husband and myself as his business partners in the US.

  • Where do you take your inspiration from?

Our main inspiration is good design. And with good design we actually mean, the best design possible. Good design doesn’t have to be complex or complicated. Simple forms and shapes drive our products. There is just something about sigikid toys that feels intuitively right for children. Our toys are old-fashioned in the sense that they are not battery-operated and don’t make any beeping sounds. And we don’t produce anything that could be remotely perceived as aggressive or confrontational. Our faces have gentle, kind features that are not air-brushed on for special effect. sigikid toys simply encourage imaginative play.

  • Is there a product line you enjoy creating most?

This is an easy one: It must be our designer plush line, called the BEASTS! sigikid in Germany employs a design team. As a special challenge and treat, the designers can let their creativity go wild and crazy and design their heart out with the BEASTS. It is really fun to see the first sketches that then turn into a sigikid BEAST.

  • What have you found most challenging or rewarding throughout your business journey?

There is an abundance of toys out there at very low price points and with low quality standards, in terms of design, look and feel. Even though many parents have become much more quality-conscious of big items like strollers, cribs or high chairs, toys are often an afterthought and viewed as disposable. At sigikid, we strive to counter this notion. We’d like to see parents be more demanding when it comes to what their kids play with. Quality, design, sustainability, machine washability – these are all key attributes for a well-made toy.

  • Overall what has been the best part of owning your own business?

It is a true blessing and a lot of fun to work in the toy industry! We really feel that we can make a difference with our mindful products that counter the trend of poorly designed toys. We are very excited about bringing old-school toys with a modern look to the United States.

  • Now that we know some more about sigikid, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

My husband and I met in grad school (in Monterey, CA, no less). Back in the day, we had no idea that this would lead to what is now sigikid-usa. We feel very fortunate that we can continue the family business that was started almost 50 years ago in Germany. We have a 7 year old who is already learning about what it means to be an entrepreneur even though he probably thinks that everybody has a warehouse full of plush toys to play in. He is the ultimate toy tester! And he is the one who reminds us that working is just another form of playing if you are only passionate about it.

February 17, 2017 by Eva Frecea

6 Types of Open-Ended Toys Your Kids Need

Open-Ended Toys Your Kids NeedAn open-ended toy is one that can be played with in many different ways. They aren’t bound to one form of play. For example, a video game can only function in one way. You can’t make spontaneous changes depending on your mood. But an open-ended toy can be used to suit your child’s imagination. This nurtures their creativity and developing skills.

Here are some of the best open-ended toys you should have in your playroom. The best part about them is that they’re suitable for all kids at all ages, boy or girl, so everyone can play together.

1. Blocks

Blocks are a classic toy that everyone (hopefully) played with when they were children. Blocks can be played with in any way. They can become accessories in many other types of games. They can make a garage for toy cars, a castle for toy knights, or be a part of imaginative games, like an exotic alien currency or buried treasure.

2. Legos

Legos, like blocks, can be configured in countless ways. They can become counterpart to other games, but there is so much you can do with Legos that you usually don’t have to. Even though they often come packaged as sets, they may only be built into their intended configurations once before they end up in a big tub of miscellaneous pieces. Every so often, dump them on the carpet and see what your kids come up with.

3. Playsets

Playsets (like storefronts, mechanic's benches, or kitchens) may seem like you can only play with them one way, but that isn’t the case. When kids use playsets, they practice with roles and behaviors that they are just learning about. Even if your kids only play “mommy and daddy” around the kitchen set, they still never play the exact same game twice.

4. Stuffed animals

Stuffed toys can play a large number of roles in imaginative play because they can be anything. Since they’re anthropomorphic, they can take the place of people in your child’s imaginative scenarios. Children can learn empathy by talking to their stuffed toys, listening to their replies, and enacting (or reenacting) real life events.

5. Costumes

Every playroom should have a few costume pieces in a chest or hanging on a wall. Costumes let children further submerse themselves in their fantasies and pretend to be something else. Some costumes lend themselves to fewer types of play, like a fireman’s hat, but others are more versatile, like a child’s umbrella, big floppy hat, old towels, an oversized coat, cheap costume jewelry, etc. With these items, children can turn themselves into anything.

6. Cardboard boxes

Have you ever purchased something, taken it out of the package, and found your children playing with the box? There’s something about cardboard boxes that attract kids. The boxes become spaceships, pirate boats, racecars, and forts. You don’t have to buy anything specifically for the box, but the next time you end up with a big one, keep it clean and put it aside for playtime adventures.

Written by Eva Frecea, CEO sigikid-usa

sigikid is a family owned company whose roots back more than 150 years. sigikid’s German parent company “H. Scharrer & Koch GmbH” was founded in 1856. In 1910, Theo Köhler, the great-grandfather of sigikid’s current owner, took over and introduced toys. When the next generation took over in 1968, the trademark sigikid was born. Eva handles business development in the Americas, creating plush, educational and organic toys.

At sigikid, we put all our focus on playing. Our products are designed to make children happier. To achieve this, we use the most wholesome and important ingredients available: quality and love. sigikid toys are classic, innovative, prestigious, durable, soothing and affordable. We're playfully different!

Interested in writing a guest blog for sigikid-usa? Send your topic idea to press@sigikid-usa.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. sigikid-usa makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

July 01, 2015 by Eva Frecea

6 Reasons You Should Be Encouraging Pretend Play

Encouraging Pretend PlayPretend play is an important part of being a child. All kids are naturally drawn to it. They let their imaginations run free and see where it takes them. But pretend play isn’t just fun. It’s also an important part of their development. By encouraging kids to play pretend, you’re actually helping them grow. Here’s why…

1. Pretend play improves language skills

Playing pretend requires kids to invent and act on scenarios. They tell stories, develop the narrative and practice turning their thoughts into works. They hear words and phrases all day long, but do not get the opportunity to practice them, so they make up those opportunities during play time.

This practice helps them pair the visualization in their mind with the actual word so they can speak faster and more clearly. As their language skills improve, they can create more dynamic and complex pretend scenarios, reinforcing the learning loop.

2. Pretend play develops self-control

Children are naturally born without self-control. They act on whatever they want. Pretend play gives your child opportunities to settle into a specific role (like a police offer, doctor or cowboy) and act on those behaviors. A cowboy wouldn’t write a speeding ticket and a police officer wouldn’t prep for surgery.

Kids need this practice so they can learn to separate their impulses and behave in the right manner for a particular situation. This prepares them for later in life when they have to drop in and out of different situations seamlessly (work, at home, out with friends, etc.).

3. Pretend play teaches problem-solving skills

While playing pretend, children approach situations they would never come across in real life. They’ll never have to scale a castle, slay a dragon and save a princess. But that simple game could teach them how to attack a problem.

It’s not what they learn, it’s how they learn. They’ll learn to approach problems with a solution-seeking mindset and come up with creative solutions.

4. Pretend play enhances social skills

Throughout a pretend scenario, a child is forced to consider the wants, needs and desires of the other characters: real or imaginary. They learn compassion, empathy and understanding. Shy kids can practice their social skills behind a “mask” (that is, a pretend role). Furthermore, in their scenarios, children often imagine themselves as adults, which give them practice in behaving like adults.

5. Pretend play makes education easy

It’s no secret that children learn better when they’re having fun. By tacking pretend play on to learning, parents and teachers can enhance the education experience. You could turn pretend grocery store play into lessons on economics, math, and the buying process. Playing pretend pirate ship can teach kids the value of working as a team, of being leaders and gross motor skills.

6. Pretend play helps people bond

If you look around at the people you’re close with, you’ll realize that that bond is built on shared experiences. When you grow apart from someone, it’s usually because you stopped experiencing things together. Kids are the same way. Their unique imaginative scenarios help build a close bond among the participants. If you let your kids play pretend together and even play with them, you can enhance everyone’s relationship.

Written by Eva Frecea, CEO sigikid-usa

sigikid is a family owned company whose roots back more than 150 years. sigikid’s German parent company “H. Scharrer & Koch GmbH” was founded in 1856. In 1910, Theo Köhler, the great-grandfather of sigikid’s current owner, took over and introduced toys. When the next generation took over in 1968, the trademark sigikid was born. Eva handles business development in the Americas, creating plush, educational and organic toys.

At sigikid, we put all our focus on playing. Our products are designed to make children happier. To achieve this, we use the most wholesome and important ingredients available: quality and love. sigikid toys are classic, innovative, prestigious, durable, soothing and affordable. We're playfully different!

Interested in writing a guest blog for sigikid-usa? Send your topic idea to press@sigikid-usa.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. sigikid-usa makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

June 29, 2015 by Eva Frecea

Five Good Reasons to Choose sigikid

March 20, 2015 by Lucian Frecea