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Made by architect turned play designer (and mom of two!) Chloe Varelidi, follies was initially conceived while working with refugee families who didn't have access to play spaces. Designed as a creative and affordable alternative to playgrounds Chloe set to design a product that would get kids to dream up beautiful, silly, large size structures of their own anywhere they wanted. All that while supporting a social impact mission; make it easier for kids worldwide who have limited or no access to play to build their own play space. Learn about our commitment to giving back here.

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Press Release

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New building toy follies empowers children to create their own play space, anywhere they want.

Architect turned play designer launches follies, a new life-size building toy that will get your family through the pandemic and long after.

Washington, DC (July 28, 2020) -- D.C. based architect turned play-designer, Chloe Varelidi, launched follies today on Kickstarter: a new beautiful toy that gets children ages 4 and up to create their own play space anywhere they want. Each follies kit includes big-sized building shapes that children can connect within minutes to build unique structures. 

“I love building my own world with follies” said Diego, a preschooler and one of the children Varelidi and her team worked with to co-design follies. 

“Children are rarely given permission to create their own play space. Often they are told by grown ups where they should play and what that space should look like.” Varelidi said. “That’s why we wanted to design something that empowered children to build their own kind of playground from scratch.” 

Perfect for both indoor and outdoor play, children can use follies to build spaceships, playhouses, puppet theaters and anything else they can dream up. Made out of non-toxic, recyclable plastic, parents love follies because it’s durable, washable and the kind of toy that looks good even when scattered in their living room.   

Varelidi started designing follies in 2017 while working with refugee communities in Greece, who had no access to playgrounds. 

“Play is essential in keeping our children healthy and happy. It is in fact a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Varelidi said. “However playgrounds can cost several thousands of dollars to install.” Designed as an affordable alternative, follies hopes to bring back play for children everywhere. Plus, follies offers an innovative alternative to playgrounds for families and communities who can’t access them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Committed to social impact, follies has also released an open-source version of the toy geared towards communities in the global south. With pilots of follies run in refugee camps in Greece, and a commitment to donate kits to the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project in Washington, D.C., as part of the kickstarter campaign, follies is a commercial toy that dares to make a difference. 

Preorder follies on Kickstarter here

Learn more about follies at www.playfollies.com or on Instagram.

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