I've experience as a development engineer but in software development, electrical engineering, and science experiments. So, even with a significant amount of experience, I've never been in the stage to realize a concept aka making a sellable product.
So, I have a product idea and also a prototype but this is quite simple and doesn't really mean a lot. Actually, it is so easy to produce you could build it during the evening when you got the materials. So, the product idea is the concept itself but mainly the circumstance that it should be cheap, solid, and good enough, that it wouldn't really make sense to build it on your own. This is where I struggle:
- how do I find out which kind of materials is the best, mainly in terms of solid but harmless. Harmless means, in case it would, whyever, fall onto the kid, it shouldn't cause any damage. That's why I favor styrofoam. But it also shouldn't come off so they won't swallow it. The product itself must not be rock solid like a kid would swing it around. In doubt, it shouldn't fall apart immediately but the purpose is not to swing and throw it around. That's why I think, e.g., wood would be overengineering. And it might be painful when it falls to the side, or so.
- foldable or interlocking so shipping is cheap and you can store it easily
- paper should be glueable on it
The product should be suitable for kids. I think point 2) is the most difficult one as it depends on the manufacturer, which means, I have to scout and find out which geometries make sense and which are cheap, and so on. However, I'm looking forward to receiving some useful input in any way even if it is "only" a good source to look into.
edit: I found something which is close to what I have in mind. The usage itself is quite different but the construction would look (very) similar: