BRINGING OLD SCHOOL PLAY BACK FOR KIDS!
A few days before Letitia Fox would travel to Dallas for the 2017 Toy Association’s Fall Preview event, she worked in an ample garage in Pasadena assembling toy boxes with colorful items.
In the Pirate box, she placed two foam swords, plastic eye patches and a scroll, among other items.
In the Rockstar Diva box, she carefully folded a pair of black tutus with glittery detail and placed materials required to create a DIY microphone with a set of colored markers.
Fox packaged each box with so much enthusiasm that other women in the room seemed almost eager to participate.
This was Fox’s moment.
She was explaining what each one of her play boxes contained but most importantly, she was preparing to officially launch her kids’ activity concept labeled “Playdate In a Box” and pitch it to major toy manufacturers in Dallas.
“I’m inspired to create this movement to bring old school play back for children,” she says.
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine first met Fox during So Cal Moms Great Big Family Play Date at Griffith Park last May. She was standing next to her booth promoting “Playdate In A Box” and cheerfully inviting parents and kids to sample the activities found in each package. Her husband who she gives credit for being fully supportive of her ideas, was dressed as a Super Hero.
At that time, at least two independent toy store owners in Aspen, Colorado and South Pasadena were selling her kids activity set.
“Children today are becoming more isolated and they’re more dependent upon technology than each other. Social anxiety is real.”
— LETITIA FOX, FOUNDER, PLAYDATE IN A BOX
“Five years ago, I ignited the concept and I began to bring it to life…I began testing it at the Dinosaur Farm in South Pasadena,” Fox says. “The owner became my mentor… and he would give me updates on families’ responses.”
For Fox, who has two children, Dante, 9 and Sofi 6, hearing what other families were saying about her kid’s activity creation meant a lot. It helped her realize she had come up with something that was resonating well with kids and their parents.
THE CREATION OF PLAYDATE IN A BOX
When her son Dante was three-years-old, Fox was introduced to the world of play dates. She says her first thought was: ‘Oh my goodness! I have a career… and I’m not a crafty mom!”
Fox, who has appeared in Television commercials, produced shows and worked as a TV host and motivational speaker, was constantly looking for games where kids could engage with one another, without having the stress of coming up with DIY activities for them. She would often take the kids on park and museum outings and when they ran out of places to explore, the idea of “Playdate In A Box” was born.
“You could never find me standing in line at Michael’s,” says Fox, referring to the craft supply store. “But when a child comes over for a play date, instead of sitting in front of a screen, I could say, ‘here’s a play box!’”
She brainstormed twenty-two play ideas where kids, ages 3-9 years old could play in groups of two or more. Of the twenty-two concepts she came up with, five have been fully developed, assembled and packaged into play dates in a box currently on sale at a few toy boutiques and on her website, Artful Playdate for $30-$35 each. They include: Pirate Adventure, Super Power Girl, Super Power Boy, Rockstar Diva and Rockstar Dude.
Inside the Pirate Adventure Box, which is currently her bestseller, kids can find color-your-own-pirate-bandanas, pirate daggers, a sliding pirate telescope, eye patches, gold coins, treasure maps and foam swords. Best of all, the secret scroll in each box tells the kids what mission they must complete in their respective roles.
“It inspires them to socially interact with one another,” says Fox. “Children today are becoming more isolated and they’re more dependent upon technology than each other. Social anxiety is real.”
Fox who moved to Los Angeles from Houston 20 years ago is also a published author. She says she has always taken leaps of faith when it comes to pursuing her goals.
“When you have a passion and you have a dream…go for it,” she says. “I was inspired by my children. I invested in this inventory and I’m going to give it my all.”
MORE INFORMATION: ARTFUL PLAYDATE
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine spent time with Letitia Fox learning about her Playdate in A Box Activity Sets. We found her concept to be refreshing in a time when children are consumed by digital devices and technology. We wish Letitia the best of luck and hope to see this fun product on the shelves of major retailers!