About this project
We’re Alicia, Carolyn, and Sasha, three Stanford University Product Designers who believe creative play has the power to develop creative confidence and independence through hands-on exploration.
We've found that so many of the latest toys come with a set of instructions or one "right way to play," limiting creativity and innovation. Defining your own play is a scary and unfamiliar activity, and it's even more daunting on a large scale -- unless it's in the form of a fort. But forts use up all of the furniture, consume the entire living room, and stay there for weeks.
We created Boxly, a 100% recyclable fort building kit that allows kids to build their own life-size structures, giving them creative license over their space. Boxly is a toy where assembly is required, but instructions are not. It has the familiarity of a cardboard box without the constraining shape or size. This helps kids develop spatial awareness and encourages them to think outside of the box, literally.
The Boxly Kit
The panels come in 4 different shapes: 20" x 20" squares, 20" x 20"windows, 10" x 20" rectangles, and 18.5" x 13" triangles. Rounded corners provide a friendly edge and help maintain the integrity of each panel. The large but light panels allow kids to build big. And the beauty of using cardboard is that kids can customize it -- in fact, we think doodles make Boxly better!
The connectors are made of recyclable, food-grade plastic. They are engineered to be durable yet flexible. With one universal piece, kids won't be frustrated by running out of one special part. And each connector has 8 slots that work with all standard one-ply cardboard!
We recommend Boxly for ages 3 and up.
What the Kids Say
"Do you have to take it back with you when you leave? Can't you get another one?"
"Stop helping me Dad, I want to build this on my own!"
"Can we play with your toy again? We need to build a sleepover room."
What the Grown-Ups Say
“I love how Boxly lets kids explore, design, and construct on a large, life-sized scale. Allowing kids to try, fail, learn, and iterate by tapping into the joy and curiosity of building structures is a powerful way to create experiential learning and fun!”
-Katie Krummeck (Program Manager, Stanford d.School K12 Lab Network & Current Lead, SparkTruck Project)
"Fort building is one of those things that I can remember loving as a child - seeing my daughters build and discover the joys of making their own fort space is so fun. And all the better that Boxly is stand alone without using every one of my kitchen chairs!"
-Kathy Davies (Lecturer in Design, Stanford University)
“Boxly is a fantastic solution for getting your kids away from screens. My kids loved personalizing their creations, and honestly could have lost themselves in Boxly for hours.
-Lindsey Shepard (Rainmaker + VP of Sales/Marketing, GoldieBlox)
We are really excited about one reward in particular. We have partnered with Camp Kesem to give our backers the opportunity to donate Boxly kits! Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.
Boxly started as a senior capstone project through the Stanford Product Design program, but has taken off and become so much more. "Assembly Required" is a way of approaching problems and thinking through solutions. We are passionate about getting kids building -- and building big.
By supporting our campaign, you will help cover our initial tooling and manufacturing costs. A successful Kickstarter will allow us to begin production so we can bring Boxly into the homes and classrooms of builders everywhere!
We've gone through countless product iterations and tons of user testing to reach the final, production-ready design. Throughout this process, we learned how kids play and what families value, and we incorporated these insights into the Boxly kit. We can't wait to share our journey with you, and are so grateful and excited that you are becoming a part of the future of Boxly. THANK YOU!
Support and Press
Risks and challenges
Ramping up to full-scale manufacturing comes with certain risks and challenges. To mitigate potential setbacks, we have partnered with experienced, local manufacturers. Over the past several months, we have been working closely with them to ensure the quality and timely delivery of the Boxly kit.
The quality of Boxly and your satisfaction are our top priorities. If we are thrown off track, we will be completely transparent with any issues and how we plan to address them.
We have an incredible network of mentors and advisors who are excited to help us along the way. We would not be here without them!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
While this certainly depends on each kid’s playing style, each kit comes with twice as many panels as kids have played with on average during our user testing--even with 7 kids playing at once! This way you already have an extra supply of cardboard. While the body of the cardboard remains sturdy, the edges do wear out from the connectors and you must be more mindful about their placement. (A few parents have liked this opportunity to teach their kids how to support a weakened structure.)
Support this project
- (30 days)