Tapping into the limitless creativity of children

IKEA turns strange & colourful kids’ drawings into real toys.

Following a successful campaign last year, Swedish homeware and furniture design company IKEA has once again invited kids across the globe to draw their favourite imagined creatures. A number of their creations will be turned into plush toys (warts and all) and sold at IKEA outlets just in time for the festive season.

The Soft Toys for Education initiative by the IKEA Foundation raises funds for UNICEF by diverting a portion of the toys’ profits to various children’s charities with an emphasis on education. It is a unique example of design for kids, by kids.

This year’s campaign has seen upwards of 52 000 drawing submissions of which 10 will be made into stuffed toys that will be manufactured in Indonesia. Coordinators of the campaign put focus on the authenticity of the plushies. Each toy must be the spitting image of the child’s drawing, despite how wonky and whimsical the character may be.

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said, “Education is the most solid road leading out of poverty. All children have the right to an education but still too many are left behind. We’re incredibly grateful to IKEA customers and co-workers who have worked so hard to make that right a reality for over 12 million children.”

View the campaign’s 2015 video below: