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Toy Invention Programme

Date Attendance Time Duration Course fee Location
10/01/24 – 31/07/24 One full day per week (Wednesday) 9.00 – 16.00 22 weeks £3,400 Penrhyn Road

Course information

This is the first Toy Invention programme of its kind in the UK.

We explore concept development, participatory design, histories and cultures around play and the prototyping, pitching and marketing of toys, games and interactive experiences. We blend the technical (hands-on making) and the critical (heads-on understandings of industry processes and wider social and sustainability issues).

You'll meet schoolchildren, Spin Master communities and finish each unit with these dialogues guiding you to a creative idea and professional pitch. Your interactions with kids of all ages will be guided by a play therapist and you'll get business insights through one-to-ones with Spin Master gurus.

"We are delighted to partner Spin Master to play around with the toolkit for future toy inventors." - Rebecca Davies, KSA Head of Department for Foundation Studies and Short Courses.

"This programme is uniquely tailored to leverage our incredible relationships with a broad inventor network that offers tremendous access and value for students." - Amy Pruzansky, Spin Master Senior Vice President of Global Advanced Concepts Team.

"I was able to explore play from many perspectives, including those of my course mates, industry experts, inventors and primary school children." - Azza Wielach, Class of 2023

"A whole new way to approach creative problem-solving." - James Clayson, Class of 2023

"Amazing support from the University and our inventor-mentors, who are always there for you. A fantastic and rare opportunity." - Guohong Xu, Class of 2023

Who can apply?

We welcome applicants from across and beyond design, education, care and other spaces related to toys, play, children and inventiveness of any flavour.

You may be a recent graduate seeking a bridge into professional practice as a toy inventor. You may be returning to education in order to change direction or complement existing skills. You may simply have a creative itch that won't go away, or possess precious experience in caring for / working around children and their imaginations.

Kingston University Alumni are eligible for a 10% discount.

Course description

This course is run in partnership between Kingston School of Art and the toy and entertainment giant Spin Master. Together we bring industry know-how and creative learning to this crash course in inventing toys, games and new ways to play. We draw on our communities of inventors, designers, innovators, makers, tinkerers and dreamers to introduce the critical, creative and business processes of invention.

We host our programme in the KSA workshops, with a team of tutors and technicians and an array of visitors, including schoolchildren, storytellers and even some magicians! We'll interact with the wider creative communities at the university, provide access to Spin Master's everyday inventive processes and connect with fellow students across the globe—on sister courses in Hong Kong, Kyoto, Tel-Aviv and Toronto!

Example course structure

The course is structured as four units. We have a limited number of places available for students wishing to take part in a single unit rather than the entire course.

  • Unit 1: Playgoggles
    Reimagine everyday objects, activities and spaces
    Hack materials and mechanisms
    Gamify habits and trends
    Where do inventors' ideas spring from?
  • Unit 2: Playthings
    Think through making and prototyping
    Sketching, storyboarding, modelling and mechanics
    2D, 3D, physical computing, film and animation
    How do inventors bring ideas to life?
  • Unit 3: Playpeople
    Meet a toy company to map markets and industry
    Meet children to understand user-centred design
    How can we invent with each in mind?
  • Unit 4: Playtoday
    Identify emerging play and entertainment trends
    Engage with social and environmental issues and debate
    Where will invention go next?

Course tutors

Entry requirements

There are no formal qualifications required to join this course. Students must be aged 18 years or over.

For information on how to apply to join the course, please visit our dedicated website:

What to bring

A basic list will be sent to you in advance of the course start date. All other materials are provided by Kingston School of Art (KSA).

Booking information

We aim to be fully compliant with government health and safety guidelines whilst running short courses at Kingston University.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


Please contact us for the 2023-24 course fee. If a course has any discounted fees available (e.g. for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.