Innovation That Matters

Customizable pen for children co-designed by kids

Fashion & Beauty

For any company that targets kids with its products or services, involving kids in the design of those items only makes sense. That’s part of the reason Tesco recently began recruiting for its first Kids’ Board, for example, and it’s also why we’ve seen makers of products including playhouses and bedding incorporate children’s ideas into their own designs. The latest spotting? The Bruynzeel My Grip, a customizable and extendable fountain pen for kids that was designed with the help of the kids themselves. Dutch Bruynzeel-Sakura has been supplying writing, drawing and coloring products for decades, but it was just this month that it launched its new My Grip school pen, which was created by design firm WAACS. During insight sessions leading up to the pen’s design, WAACS asked 81 kids to draw, cut or paint their ideal pen. In addition to whimsical but not entirely practical features such as “built-in flower-for-angry-teacher,” personalization and social interaction were high among kids’ most wished-for features, WAACS says. The result, accordingly, is the My Grip, a fountain pen that can not only be personalized and moulded to each child’s hand, but also features components that can be collected and exchanged. Available in a wide range of colors, the My Grip is built from curved pieces that can be interconnected in Lego-like fashion. Young kids just learning how to write need only two or three for a pen of the right size, but as they get older four or five will make more sense. Thanks to the curve of those pieces, the resulting pen can be moulded ergonomically to the shape of the child’s right or left hand. Each piece can also serve as a cap to protect the pen’s durable iridium nib. Perhaps best of all, though, is that the pen’s brightly colored pieces can be collected and exchanged, while options like colored ink and glitter take the personalization options even further. A unique code supplied with each pen, meanwhile, provides access to a variety of online activities. Priced at EUR 8.95, the teacher-approved My Grip pen is now available in select stores and through Dutch and Belgian school suppliers. Retailers around the globe: one to add to your own fun-yet-educational line? (Related: Instrument designed for kids with special needsIndustry community for kids’ products.)



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