15 Dec 2022 | 2 min Read
Author | 251 Articles
Designs wooden toys and activity wooden boxes handcrafted by local artisans, using natural materials and non-toxic colours.
“Play is 90 per cent child and 10per cent toy”
Founder of toy brand Shumee, Meeta Sharma Gupta is an engineer by education, with degrees from IIT Delhi and Harvard University. She returned to India after a long stint in the US to raise her two boys, who are also the inspiration behind building Shumee.
When Meeta watched her two little sons engage and play with simple wooden toys, she was inspired to design such toys and that’s when Shumee was born in 2014. She also realised that most of the toys available in India either contained too many electronic parts that can pose as choking hazards or were made of plastic. Shumee designs wooden toys and activity wooden boxes for 0 to 6 year olds that are engaging, and open-ended. All their toys are made using natural materials and non-toxic colours and handcrafted by local artisans.
“As parents, we are obsessed with educational toys and getting our children to learn from a very early age. What we forget is that children thrive best in free, open environments where rules and instructions play a minimal role and there are no expected outcomes. The toy should never overpower or guide the child; the child should be the driver of the play experience and learning,” says Meeta.
What’s unique about the toys created at Shumnee are that they are designed to hone age-appropriate skills such as fine motor and gross motor skills, creativity, communication, self-expression, and problem solving. Meeta believes that play and exploration is their primary purpose, and that learning will happen along the way. She also believes that play is “90 percent child and 10 percent toy.”