Search our site
Search our site

Toy Invention Programme

Date Attendance Time Duration Course fee Location
21/09/22 – 17/05/23 One full day per week (Wednesday) 9.00 – 17.00 28 Weeks £6,400 Penrhyn Road

Upcoming Zoom Open Days

This is the first Toy Invention Programme in the UK.

It explores inventive thinking, concept development, inclusive design, histories and cultures around play and the prototyping, pitching and marketing of toys, games and interactive experiences.

Everything we toy with is technical (hands-on making) and critical (heads-on understandings of industry processes and wider social and sustainability themes). Students are taught by professional inventors, magicians, child psychotherapists, creative technologists, IP lawyers, user-centred designers, futurologists, play historians and interact regularly with experts at both Spin Master and a partner primary school.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Spin Master to bring to life the first Toy Invention Programme in the UK. We embed inventiveness in everything we do and intend to play around with the toolkit for future toy inventors." - Rebecca Davies, KSA Head of Department for Foundation Studies and Short Courses.

"Since inception, Spin Master has been fuelled by its drive for continuous innovation. This educational programme is uniquely tailored to a thriving marketing, leveraging 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.

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.

Students may be recent graduates seeking a bridge into professional practice as a toy inventor. Alternatively, they may be returning to education in order to change direction or complement existing skills with playful and critical user-centred making. However they may also never before have designed in an educational or professional setting but have an undeniable creative itch or possess precious lived experience in caring for or working around children and their imaginations.

Course description

This course is run in partnership between Kingston School of Art and Spin Master. As collaborators we bring our industry and educational experience to this crash course in inventing toys, games and creative ways to play.

We draw on our combined 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 studios and 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 two units, each 14 weeks in length, and the curriculum throughout is anchored in four themes:

Inspire by reimagining everyday objects, activities and spaces. Hacking materials and objects, gamifying and silly-fying situations and trends.

Interact sensitively with those you invent with and for. Collaborative teamwork, ethical design processes and a series of sessions working face-to-face with end-users.

Iterate ideas through sketching, hacking and prototyping. 3D and mechanical modelling, physical computing, video and animation, pitching to industry and to play experts—children!

Inform play with critical understandings of children and the toy industry. Market analysis, sustainability literacy, the role of play in children's development.

Unit 1: Toolbox
We introduce the core mindsets and skillsets of a Toy Inventor.
Students invent from the get-go, with learning plugged into lightning quick one-day workshops and hacks, created and taught with professional Toy Inventors.

Unit 2: Takeoff
This sets students loose on two major projects, each lasting six weeks and focused on industry market categories, cultural themes of the moment and playful conceptual starting points. Students develop and pitch ideas in close dialogue with communities drawn from our partner Spin Master and Primary School communities.

Course tutors

Rebecca Davies

Kieran O'Connor

Chantal Drenthe

Gary Pyper

Alice Stewart

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 attend an open day and how to apply to join the course, please visit our dedicated website: www.toyinventionksa.co.uk.

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.

Fees

The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. 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.