Founded in 2006, Phoebe being a hands-on Playcentre mum noticed that children if left to their own devices, preferred real tools over toys every time. Suddenly noticing a gap in the market: "You used to be able to go out into the neighbourhood with your friends and climb trees or whatever. But it's not like that now" (Mindfood, April 2011: p49). Thus Phoebe set out to create a series of products that provided children (and parents) with the tools to realise their creative potential in a single neat pack.
What started as four kits based on cooking, gardening, painting and outdoor exploration, has quickly expanded to over 250 products for a range of ages - from a kit making baby hand prints to a kit for designing a solar-powered plane.
The seedling kit provides children (and parents) with the tools to create everything from t-shirts and cupcakes, to a sunflower garden and a kaleidoscope.
Each provides quality materials and tools, with Phoebe believing that children "deserve real tools and materials". A concept that celebrates and recognises them as competent individuals.
Every year the product's designers release a new collection (with theme). Above "Let's get carried away" includes a kit to "create your own dolly" (above) and "a treasure hunt boat" or "sea shanty" (below).
While the kits contain the tools and materials, Phoebe maintains that there is a degree of 'open-endedness' to the product, encouraging the children to think creatively. While included is a series of suggested steps, there are no strict instructions or pictures of the completed project.
It is a concept that suggests children when given the right tools, opportunities and experiences have unlimited potential.