As a boy, I spent most of my formative years playing with action figures and reading comic books. Nonetheless, I also got to play house with my female cousins when they wanted to. Who says you have to be a girl to play house, anyway?
We would use plastic toys, paper, and sometimes real cutlery to mimic the scenario of a happy family living in a house. Given the freedom we have back then, we could use anything we could pick in our garden and garage. Need food? We had leaves. Need to build a castle? We had boxes. Basically, we used every junk we see and with some imagination, we could turn them into something handy for our game.
That’s the problem with the lives of kids now. With the pandemic preventing them from having playdates, exploring the garden, or even visiting the park, they are stuck inside their homes with limited things to play with. Well, this is where Swingly comes into action.
Swingly is a modern-day take on that same house concept; however, instead of a plastic house no normal-sized child can fit in, you hang a poly-cotton blend fabric sheet in the middle of your doorway.
Setting up this fabric play area looks easy enough. All you have to do is find a 32.5-inch wide and 81.5-inch high doorway to attach the detachable hanging strip and the Swingly fabric. Once you’re done, you just have to make sure you have a very sturdy doorstop so no one gets hurt!
There are four themes for the Swingly – all of which were designed by Black Lamb Studio illustrator Isabel Serna. In addition to your standard Malibu House and Boho House designs which aspiring homemakers will love, you have the Farmer’s Market and Camper Food Truck that can inspire the inner entrepreneurs in your children.
Each theme is double-sided and comes with its own unique features and accessories. Take my favorite Camper Food Truck theme, for example. The main fabric has a roll-up window that store owners can use. It also has one taco, one hot dog, and one menu that players can further use to completely immerse themselves in an outdoor food stall setting.
Once playtime is over, clean-up just involves putting the accessories back in the Swingly’s pockets, detaching the fabric from the hanging strip, and rolling it all up. It takes up way less space than a cumbersome toy house, plus it’s easier to clean. The fabric is machine-washable and the inks used to print the themes are totally non-toxic – which is good since this is an object marketed towards kids.
If you want your kids to get away from the computer screen and stretch their imagination in the real world, Swingly is currently live on Kickstarter. As of now, it has a total of US$7,405 fund out of its US$15,000 goal, so it doesn’t have that much further to go!