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Follies are big building shapes inspired by artists like Henry Matisse, Ray Eames and Anni Albers that kids connect to create whatever their imagination comes up with; a spaceship, a puppet theater, a playhouse, the possibilities are endless!
Founder/Mompreneur and former Architect turned Toy Designer, Chloe Varelidi came up with the idea for a modular playground in 2017 while working in a refugee camp in Greece. There, she noticed that children didn’t have any spaces where they could engage in imaginative play and wanted to change that.
“Play is essential in keeping our children healthy and happy. It is in fact a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Varelidi said. “However playgrounds can cost several thousands of dollars to install.” Designed as an affordable alternative, Follies hopes to bring back play for children everywhere.
Follies were designed for families who don’t have space for giant pillows, forts or inflatables taking over their living room, and are made from 100% non-toxic and recyclable plastic foam. Follies are also ideal for busy parents because, unlike other products in the market, Follies don’t require an adult to help kids build their creations.
Play with Follies
Our friends at Follies sent over the canvas set so we could get a peek at this new STEAM toy. The flat panels are connected using smaller connectors. Follies feature an intuitive play pattern with a unique design that fosters creativity and STEM skills. There are notches cut out that allow the pieces to slide easily together. Even my 5 year old could assemble them.
We followed some of the included prompts to create a theater and a spaceship, but inevitably they were more interested in seeing what they could create on their own. They ended up making a dog house for some of their FurReal pets. They had a very specific vision and had to work together to achieve it.
The set comes in a sturdy cardboard box that is perfect for storing under a bed, in a closet or even under the couch when not in use. The marker wipes off easily allowing for endless creations without a ton of work to reset.
If you have multiple kids we recommend getting 2-3 sets so you have enough panels to create everything they can imagine. This new STEAM toy is a must have for the kids in your life so be sure to order in time for the upcoming gift giving season.
What we love about Follies
We love that Follies allow for easy independent play and foster creativity through open-ended play. We love that there is finally a toy that engages gross motor skills without requiring a large permanent place in our home. We love that the different sets are interchangeable to offer an even larger variety of play opportunities.
What we don’t love about follies
To be honest the main thing we don’t love about Follies is that all kids don’t have them already. Unfortunately, not all families will be able to afford multiple sets at $150-$200 per set. We realize that this price point is similar to other large scale building toys so it is a fair market price.
Our kids also immediately tried to climb on what they were making, but Follies are not designed to hold weight. These creations are so enticing and hard not to climb all over.
It is important to note that your purchase is supporting a small women and immigrant owned business especially during this insane year of global supply chain issues. Additionally, Follies gives back a big percentage of sales to causes that support children both in our local community in DC and globally.
Follies is committed to giving back to organizations that serve displaced children. In 2021 Follies is donating products to the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project and to the Danish Refugee Council in Greece, because every child has the right to play.
- The Canvas Set ($149) – Perfect for kids that love to draw. 30 pieces made from unique 100% non toxic material that work like a whiteboard; Kids draw, then wipe away and store flat after they are done. The Canvas Set comes with it’s own marker set so you are all set to start creating from the minute you unbox.
- The Bauhaus Limited Edition Set ($199) – Perfect for the little architect in your life. Create elaborate structures with this stunning toy that doubles as home decor. 40 pieces featuring hand made silk screen prints inspired by the patterns and colors of the Bauhaus architectural movement. Made from unique 100% non toxic material, easy to clean and store flat after kids are done. Beloved by families whose living room is also their playroom.