A unique patented 2D construction that allows players to create 3D shapes, Foooty is “a ball that fits in your pocket.” Connecting each element allows you to create all kinds of shapes from rugby balls to rockets to footballs. And when you’re done playing, you simply disconnect the parts and put them back in your pocket.
At the core of Foooty is play. According to Jean-Pierre, “the definition of play is that you dare to do things you wouldn’t normally do. It’s about the fact that you do it and then by doing it, you learn something. Play is all about the experience of learning.”
There is an abundance of research on play and its positive effects on early childhood learning and development. For Jean-Pierre, “play is as important as sleeping and eating. Playing is a way to create connections with people and to be creative in finding new solutions. This applies not only to children, but also to adults. Somehow, somebody decided that when you are over eighteen, you should play less. The opposite should be the case in this volatile world of stress and complexity. We should learn by experimenting, enterprising, innovating… These are all forms of serious play.”
The concept of play is evident in Foooty, especially in their most recent collaboration with humanitarian aid organization Qandil; for every Foooty sold, one Foooty is donated to refugee kids in Iraq. (Jean-Pierre connected with Qandil through fellow THNKer Oscar Sanchez, a Field Coordinator in Iraq for UNHCR.)
“It’s important that we work with organizations like Qandil to give all kids the opportunity to play, to give them hope. Of course it starts with offering food and shelter, but it’s also very important to offer kids playtime because this gives kids opportunities to dream and to work as teams and to connect with each other, which is crucial for their development.”