Amanda Gummer on being Fundamentally Children

The Good Toy Guide has found itself a new home, designed to be the destination for all things play. ToyNews talks to Dr. Amanda Gummer about her new Fundamentally Children banner.
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It's taken ten years of hard research, consultancy, development, and of course, playing with a heck of a lot of toys.

But the Good Toy Guide and its technological counterpart, the Good App Guide, are finally ready to reveal their new dwelling.

As the ‘one stop destination for toy firms, app firms, parents and carers,’ the aptly named Fundamentally Children has now set out to ?become the independent authoritative expert on play, child development, children’s tech and all things related to promoting a healthy childhood.

Launched ?on September 1st, Fundamentally Children?will offers visitors a host ?of new features including its Fun4All campaign and Play Advice, alongside its plethora of long-established and familiar branches.

“Fundamentally Children has come about largely ?due to the success of the Good Toy Guide,” child psychologist and Ceo, Dr. Amanda Gummer tells ToyNews. “This success resulted in us launching the Good App Guide, and with the extra work, it was becoming increasingly blurred.”

To solve this issue, Gummer and the Good Toy team decided to pull its many arms together to form one unified brand.

“It’s basically pulling together a decade ?of my research and consultancy under the one Fundamentally Children umbrella,” she explains.

“A lot of the features were available on the Good Toy Guide, but people didn’t know they could go there for advice, for example on helping their dyslexic child learn to read.”

And this advice is just one of the many assets that Fundamentally Children offers its visitors, through its new dedicated Fun4All initiative.

“The Fun4All Twitter campaign highlights the need for children with special needs to be able to access play,” says Gummer.

“My analogy is that? when a child in a wheelchair is playing Monopoly with their friends, for half an hour they are just another child, able to enjoy the social interaction, banter and friendship.

“Play is really good at leveling the playing field for children facing challenges. Fun4All is there to offer play ideas and advice on inclusive games and a host of activities.

“These are things we need more of, instead of labeling children as needing special equipment.”

Alongside campaigning, letters to parliament and trying to influence policy in the field, Fundamentally Children will also continue to run a range seminars ?on child development, aimed at supporting family friendly companies.

Gummer adds: “We go in and talk to their parents’ networks about the powers of play, or how to choose childcare for their kids.”

Under its new banner, the organisation will also begin branching out into the travel and leisure sector, and Fundamentally Children is now currently working on offering training and seminars to the likes of Butlins and Centreparcs.

Despite the increasingly busy calendar, Gummer staunchly insists that Fundamentally Children will not lose sight of its origins, and has plenty of developments for the Good Toy Guide and the Good App Guide to offer, too.

“We are really keen to protect the legacy of the Good Toy Guide,” adds Gummer. “We are very busy with the day to day business, and are currently working with the Mumsnet website, as well as talking to John Lewis and Harrods about working with them on a retailer front.

“We have big plans for supporting the independent shops.”

Meanwhile, the Good App Guide aims to help both companies and parents alike traverse the 21st Century’s technological landscape.

“Kids are using apps more and more and at a younger and younger age. Parents are crying out ?for some authoritative advice on whether they are any good and what they are doing for their kids’ development,” Gummer tells ToyNews.

“A lot of toy manufacturers are developing apps today, and an awful lot of them are doing it really badly. And it’s amazing how a bad app can affect toy sales.

“We also have a lot ?of advice on the site on e-safety, screen time and managing a healthy play diet,” she adds.

And that seems to be the overriding message for the new Fundamentally Children umbrella.

Gummer concludes: “We are not about demonising technology, but are keen to continue our ethical social responsibility, and help parents and companies alike balance that play diet.”

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