I got Oppi company in Montpellier just, at the beginning of the month of May, a silver medal in the Lépine competition for its new collection. Created FLOT, bath toys for children to learn to bathe independently. There are three little buddies: the koji the whale with a sensory brush, the octopus taco that makes foam when you blow on it, and Kappa, the hippo with sensory balls. These are toys made in France.
Have you launched baby bath toys in the form of animals?
These are bath toys that develop sensory perception and independence in the bath. They are three rather charming companions. We have a hippopotamus, an octopus and a whale. Each one has properties that will really develop sensory awareness and help the child learn to wash himself. It is still a very important moment for the baby which is also a stage of growth in the bathroom. It is a daily encounter with them.
Each animal has its own characteristics. Can you give it to us exactly?
We gave them nicknames. We have the octopus taco. It has a small membrane with small holes and you can make a small rain shower. And if you change that membrane with one that’s made of fabric, right there, kids will blow over his head because a small hole in it will create foam on top. It is very interesting and allows you to understand and accept the moment of bathing a little more.
We have a koji whale. And inside, there is a small sensory brush that actually allows the baby to develop his tactile perception. But also learn to wash alone. Understand that the bathroom is not necessarily just for playing. It is a shift because we consider that a child knows how to wash, only from the age of six and starting at ten months.
And finally, the kappa hippopotamus. There, we are more into luxury. It has small massage beads underneath. So it allows the baby to play a little bit around the bathroom. But especially after a shower. It’s always a little transitional moment before bed. Even here, for the little ones, one can awaken and release body parts.
Have you worked with education professionals to design these things?
We worked with an occupational therapist and childcare specialist named Sonia Krif, who is a specialist in baby baths, who developed the thalassotherapy technique. Namely, we really have this in-group balance between learning, independence, and well-being.
This educational aspect is very important?
It’s really our mainstay, it’s almost our passion core in our games. We have always consulted professionals before designing games. There, we identified the problem of independence, sensory awakening in the bathroom. It is a daily moment in which the child grows every day. There are things going on. Baby develops in the bath and therefore products should also evolve over time. That’s why, for us, we really define those age groups that provide solutions and experiences to allow the child to develop better.
Your Oppi brand was launched with your brother, is it part of your personal story?
Yes, it is indeed a story of brothers. We wanted to create a company that had a commitment and a desire to change things. It also started with a more personal story. When I was younger, I had osteoporosis, and it lasted for ten years. I spent a lot of moments in hospitals where we managed to escape through the game.
And then when I was a student, it was settled. I went to Barcelona to resolve this concern. I studied product design and was fascinated by therapeutic design. You played the first game to help autistic children communicate, language without speaking. I had worked with an autism specialist. Then we thought with my brother, but that’s cool, so why not continue? And now, having led to another brand, our brand has been developed and created quite a bit. Well, let’s say the DNA of history is far from any brand.
Interview by Morgan Gueumard
Image credit: Dr.
Interview with Hansel Schloupt, Co-Director of Oppi on France Bleu Hérault