Heritage month | The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh partners with US toy firm Open the Joy on curated children’s kits

Published on: 1st June 2021

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has partnered with the emotional intelligence and educational toy company, Open the Joy, to launch a new product range based on the museum’s exhibit XOXO: Love and Forgiveness.

Under the new partnership, Love and Forgiveness Boxes are going to be available in Target stores across the US from June 21st this year, drawing on teachings from the popular Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh exhibit that made its debut back in 2014 and has continued to inspire children and families since.

Open the Joy provides curated kits filled with therapeutic and educational experiences for children, with products designed to bring fun and entertainment through a variety of hands-on and off-screen activities that develop motor skills, reduce stress, build confidence, and provide bonding opportunities for families.

“We are so excited to have a product on the shelves at Target nationwide. This is an  opportunity to spread the mission of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and bring kids and families a hands-on experience that promotes letting go and embracing love,” said Jane Werner, executive director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  

The origin of Open the Joy began when its founder, Shalini Samtani’s daughter was diagnosed with a one-in-a million rare disease. While the doctors were caring for her physical health, Shalini had to search for play options that were therapeutic and  educational.

“We have taken lessons learned from some of the hardest moments in life and transformed them to create products and experiences that help kids develop, heal, and grow,” said Samtani, Open the Joy founder and CEO. “By expanding our line into Target we are able to reach a larger audience, and by working with Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh we can take their expertise in social and emotional learning and share it with even more kids and families.” 

The development of the product has taken place over the past few months. It is part of a larger product line from Open the Joy, that includes The Kindness Mission Box, The Anger Management Box, and the My Gratitude Box. Each kit is designed to build  emotional intelligence for kids through play.

Every kit contains hours of hands-on activities that can be done alone or in collaboration with a caregiver. They are recommended for ages four through to 12.  

“It is very exciting to have a nationwide toy launch based on one of our exhibits,” said Anne Fullenkamp, senior director of design at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

“We love seeing kids playing and learning when they are at the museum interacting with our  art and exhibits. Launching this product with Target and Open the Joy lets us share that  experience with even more families.” 


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