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Designing Packaging for Children’s Products

Let’s get into the world of children's products—where the colours are brighter, the stakes higher, and the packaging? Well, it's got to be spot on. It's not just about slapping some cartoon characters on a box and calling it a day. Designing packaging for the little ones is a fine art, blending aesthetics, safety, and a sprinkle of magic to engage the most selective of audiences: kids and let's not forget, their gatekeepers … the parents.
There's a whole world of difference between good and great when it comes to packaging for children's products. This blog will look at how you can create standout packaging for the children's sector. We're talking safety first, captivating young minds and making sure the designs grow as they do. We’ll touch on the importance of sustainability in today's green-conscious world too.
10 min read
22 March 2024
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Children playing

Safety First

When it comes to children’s packaging, safety isn't just important; it's everything. Childproofing packaging is so important which means packaging designers have a hefty checklist to tick off:

  • Non-toxic materials: Because little hands love to explore... and then stick those hands in their mouths.

  • Secure closures: Because no one wants a spillage disaster during a car journey.

  • Communicating safety to parents: Because reassurance is key. A quick glance at the packaging should tell parents all they need to know about the product's safety credentials.

How do you go about this?:

  • Review design regulations and standards for children's products. It's not just about being compliant; it's about setting the bar high.

  • Implement rigorous testing for all packaging materials. If it's going near a child, it better be as safe as a teddy bear.

  • Clearly label safety information and instructions for use. Transparency is the name of the game.

  • Consider sustainable and biodegradable options. Because environmentally conscious parents are looking for products that protect their children's future planet.

Captivating a Young Audience

Now, onto the fun part—catching the eye of those small critics. What works?

Make sure to incorporate bright colours and adventurous designs. The psychology of colour still works for children you know! Think of packaging as a child's first invitation to a grand adventure. It’s all about engaging their senses and imagination. Another thing to play around with could be illustrations, your typography, the materials– get creative with it.

Add in mascots and cartoon characters, not just for decoration; but as companions to the child’s journey with the product. Create a unique and memorable mascot for brand identity. Something that sticks, in a good way. Think about Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg's Frosties cereal packaging or Coco the Monkey for Coco Pops. This helps to build brand loyalty as children will naturally feel connected to the brand. It boosts brand recall and effectiveness.

Tony the tiger
Coco the monkey

Utilise packaging as a medium for storytelling. Think about crafting a memorable unboxing experience. Every child loves a good tale. Playmobil excels in this area with its imaginative box art. Each package showcases the figures and playsets in action-packed scenarios, inviting kids into the story before they've even opened the box. This visual storytelling not only captures the essence of the toy inside but also sparks creativity, encouraging children to dive into their own adventures.

Playmobil example

Image source:

Engage children with interactive packaging elements. Think pop-ups, puzzles, or hidden treasures. Consider the power of transparent packaging to boost shelf appeal. Letting the product inside shine through can be incredibly effective.

Ensuring Age-Appropriate Designs

What delights a toddler might bore a ten-year-old to tears. So you need to make sure the designs evolve with development stages. Packaging that grows with the child is key. You’ll want to have clear descriptors on the packaging that indicates age suitability. Another thing to consider is age-appropriate content and imagery. This matters and so does captivating their imagination in the right way.

Some suggestions on how to do this 👇

Segmenting target demographics by age and design preferences is critical in the children's product market. Remember, one size does not fit all. Thorough research into the developmental needs and interests of each age group ensures that the packaging not only appeals visually but also aligns with the cognitive and motor skills appropriate for that age. This approach allows brands to tailor their messaging, making it more relevant and engaging for different stages of childhood.

Incorporating educational elements suitable for the age group can significantly enhance the value of the product. Learning through play is a powerful concept that resonates with both children and their parents. Packaging that hints at or directly includes educational content—be it through storytelling, puzzles, or interactive elements—encourages a deeper engagement with the product. For instance, effective packaging design for toddlers might include simple shapes and colours to promote recognition skills, while products aimed at older children could feature more complex information, puzzles, or challenges that stimulate problem-solving and critical thinking.

Ensuring that packaging design respects and fosters developmental milestones is paramount. Every parent appreciates a product that contributes positively to their child's growth. This means going beyond mere entertainment to offer experiences that support physical, cognitive, and social development. Packaging can play a role in this by providing parents with information on how the product supports their child's development, suggesting activities or ways the product can be used to foster certain skills, and by being designed in a way that is accessible and encouraging for children at different developmental stages.

Engaging parents through packaging that educates them about the developmental benefits of the product can create a strong, positive perception of the brand. By highlighting how the toy or product aligns with developmental milestones—such as language skills, fine motor development, or social interaction—brands can position their products as beneficial tools in a child's growth journey, not just as sources of entertainment. This strategy not only enhances the product's appeal but also builds trust with parents who are looking for meaningful and beneficial purchases for their children.

The Environmental Impact and Parental Approval

The push for all things green and eco-friendly packaging has really picked up speed, and let's be honest, it's about time. These days, being eco-friendly is way more than just a trend – it's just about being a decent person. And for parents, it's a double win. Not only do they get to feel good about choosing products that are kinder to the planet, but they also get to pass on those green vibes to their children, teaching them early on about looking after our world.

So, when a brand goes all in on sustainable packaging, it's not just doing the environment a solid; it's also tapping into a whole community of parents who are keen to support companies that share their values. You’re basically telling the world “We care about the future too," and that's something more and more families want to be a part of. Plus, let's not forget, kids love nature – so products that help protect their playground are always going to be a hit at home. At Noramble, sustainability is something that’s really important to us.

So there you have it. Designing packaging for children's products is a balancing act of safety, engagement, age-appropriateness, and environmental considerations. But get it right, and you're not just winning over the kids; you're earning the trust and approval of their parents too.

Thinking of giving your children's product packaging a bit of a facelift or maybe starting from scratch? Noramble is your go-to for innovative, child-friendly packaging solutions that don't skimp on safety, engagement, or sustainability. Get yourself a free brand review; let's create something extraordinary together. Get in touch with us.

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