The Major

This week’s featured program is the Toy Design Major at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), which is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. From the website:

This intensive, one-of-a-kind program thrives on creativity, inspiration, and joy. Our students are artful designers, storytellers, and makers who create toys that help children learn about themselves and their world.

In this program, you’ll gain hands-on experience in conception, manufacturing, and branding, learning to design toys and games that delight children while supporting their physical, emotional, and intellectual development.

Learn the complete toy design cycle, from brainstorming, sketching, drafting, and rendering through design and engineering to product materials, safety considerations, and building working prototypes. FIT’s Toy Design program offers courses on child psychology and hands-on training in our model-making shop. You’ll study design for the infant through ’tween markets, child development, and motor learning. You’ll create 3D digital renderings that translate to 3D-printed objects, and you’ll engage in a required internship with a major toy company. 

Students enrolled in the major take coursework in toy design as well as in business, psychology, and other complementary fields. 

Two Interesting Courses

TY 313 — Soft Toy and Doll Design

Designing plush toys and dolls from research and development, concept creation, sketching, and patternmaking, to prototype construction and presentation. The study of materials, manufacturing techniques, packaging, and industry requirements, as related to toy design, is stressed.

HE 301 — Motor Learning: A Developmental ApproachThe major theories and principles influencing motor skills are presented. The role and effectiveness of developmentally appropriate toys and equipment are assessed.

Five Possible Complementary Minors at FIT

Unique Opportunities within the Major

Students have access to a product library for research purposes, and can test their toys with children in FIT’s play space. All students are required to complete a summer internship in toy design: 

Your internship with a major toy company will give you valuable experience. For many students, it’s an opportunity that turns into a full-time job after graduation.

TY 491 — Summer Internship: Toy Design

A summer internship in industry, scheduled individually for a minimum of 168 hours at the worksite and 12 hours on campus. Includes a pre- and post-internship seminar. Completion of a daily journal, a written and oral report on the experience, and a portfolio of work is required.

Sample Similar Programs

While many colleges offer coursework in toy design, only one other school offers toy design as a degree program: