Play-based learning helps children recognise and express emotional and social skills, such as cooperation and empathy. Funsquare Play Sofas are designed with little (and big) kids in mind to encourage interactive learning through open-ended play, encouraging creativity and motor development. Their sofas are multifunctional and can be used for sitting, playing, jumping and generally having fun. They are super comfy, with the perfect amount of bounce, and made with the highest quality foam – with endless configuration possibilities. And for super little kids, the sofas are perfect for early cognitive development skills such as standing, crawling, pulling to stand and other sensory experiences. Founder Yolanda Douglas talks to the Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Funsquare and the challenges of starting a business during a global pandemic.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
It was during the middle of the pandemic and I noticed my daughter was spending a lot of time looking at a screen. A lot of outdoor activities were closed so I wanted her to be able to play with something (that wasn’t a screen) indoors that helped with her creativity, open-ended play and motor development. That is when I created Funsquare, which ticked all our boxes.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
During Covid was difficult. There are many challenges in starting a business but it was important we launched during this time because we recognise how useful Funsquare is for those stuck indoors. We launched recently, in February 2021.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough was realising how helpful our product is for the disabled community. It really helps to promote motor development and creativity. It also helps parents get some time to themselves as well, as children are kept busy playing with their Funsquare.
We also wanted to make sure the product was as kid friendly as possible. We worked on a number of different fabrics but settled on microsuede due to how easy it is to clean. It is also water resistant and pet friendly (no loops for cats to scratch and pull apart).
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It is difficult because you never really switch off from work. The saving grace is that our 4-year-old daughter loves her Funsquare and is more than happy to offer her advice about what colours she likes or what shapes we should develop next.