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The work of a group of 2022 Art + Design graduates has been honored as part of Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards. Alaine Bennett, Julia Marrie, and Amanda Dupell received an honorable mention in the student category for their project Made to Play, a parental monitoring guide for early childhood development. The work was created as part of their senior capstone project with professor Michael Arnold Mages. 

“The projects we honor in the World Changing Ideas Awards are more important than ever,” said Brendan Vaughan, Fast Company Editor-in-Chief. “This year, we received a truly impressive array of entries. A team of Fast Company editors and writers helped us comb through all of the projects and select the most creative and impactful for our annual list.”

The developmental handbook leverages at-home items to create age-specific toys that help monitor developmental milestones, from birth to children three years of age. Instructions for making a “Crinkle Toy,” for example, require only an old t-shirt and empty chip bag as materials. Accompanied by guided activities to promote cognitive and fine and gross motor skills, the DIY toys in the manual are meant to be more affordable and less intimidating alternatives to tracking a child’s development.  

Now working full-time, (Marrie is a Production Designer at @ProductBoard; Bennett is a Creative Artist at Boston Beer Company; Dupell is a Software Engineer at Sporttrade) the group is “proud of what we have accomplished so far,” Marrie says, “and excited for the future of Made to Play.”