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DESIGNEDUCATIONALTOY Blog

Unique board games based on rules of GRAVITY

19 November 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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Since years, board games have been an integral part in growing up of a child and it also brings fun times with family and friends. Sometimes along with fun they also provide a lot of knowledge to kids without even realizing it. In association with Syddansk Teknologisk Innovation, Gravity Board Games have developed and produced 6 unique board games based on rules of gravity.

These unique board games based on rules of Gravity – as the name suggests – they all have the concept of gravity as an integral part of the game concept and play value. The game has been designed over a see-saw device. Under the rules about “force times arm”, a piece that is close to the center line does not weigh the same as a piece that is far from the center line.

First game is Hungry Higgs (a balance must be struck between caution and greed), it is for age 7+ and requires 50% of strategy. You win the game by getting most possible weight placed on your half of the playing field by only ONE movable piece on board that moves around and tries to capture the prey pieces. For movement the dice has been used.

Second game is Gaining Gravity (its best of five), it is for age 8+ and requires 60% of strategy. You win the game by getting most possible weight placed on your half by moving only TWO pieces on the board that moves and captures the prey pieces by using two dice.

Third game is Dangerous Dip (get through the field quickly or collect more prey pieces), it is for age 9+ and requires 70% of strategy. You win this game by getting most possible weight on your side of the game board by THREE movable pieces on the board trying to capture the game prey pieces and get through the board and one piece reaches the other end with the help of two dice.

Forth game is Gravity Gammon (Backgammon with new direction), it is for age 10+ and requires 80% strategy. You win this game by gathering most possible weight on your end of the board by playing with 15 pieces and move them and try to get through the field as quickly as possible.

Fifth game is Gravity Chess (moving weight on other side or getting king to the centre line), it is for the age 11+ and requires 100% strategy. You win this game by moving most possible weight on the opponent’s end of the board with 16 movable pieces and bringing the king to the center line to capture your opponent’s king.

Sixth and last game is Changing Challenges (play pieces shifting functions and adapting strategies), it is for the age 12+ and requires 100% strategy. You win this game by shifting most of the weight to the other side of the board with 14 movable pieces that has function similar to chess pieces which keeps on changing as you move forward on the board.

With Gravity, a new dimension has been added to the board games that are stimulating and educational. All six board games can be won if you are best at moving weight from one half of the playing flied to the other, but they can also be won in other and more traditional ways. These games are easy to learn but difficult to master, and you quickly discover that you will get better and better the more games you play.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

DESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

How pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market?

7 November 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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Since past two years our lives have changed massively in terms of lifestyle, health, earning, vacations, basic needs, livelihood, travel, etc. all the sectors and markets have been affected. And so has the Toy Industry. Today, we are going to read a little about how pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market. To understand this we will also have a brief look at the consumer behavior.

Firstly, during this period of time global toy sales performed well. The primary reason for this resilience is the fundamentally sound foundation of the toy business: that desire of being a parent, to bring joy to their children and to aid to their development, especially in tough times to take their mind off current happenings around them. It is hard to see how this underlying demand driver for the toy business would not continue. The toys market alone is forecast to reach revenues of more than $120 billion by 2023.

Secondly, there is emergence of few second-tier groups of companies who never had a look-in at the shelves of the big retailers and who now benefit from this trend. At the same time is shows a possible threat to both the mass retailers as well as the traditional leading companies. Interestingly, both the trends are gaining traction in the market, which are still affected by the pandemic as well as those that have brought it under control.

How pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market? Faced with challenges to supply chains, store closures and shifts in consumer demands, traditional toys are expected to see an overall slower performance globally. However, a number of categories that fit well with needs of at-home children and adult entertainment and education have seen a surge in early 2020, such as games, board games, puzzles, stem toys, construction and educational toys.

While the trend towards the digitalization of playtime and pastime was already taking strong roots, covid-19 stay-at-home mandates had given further boost to video games and there is a rise in competitive tournaments, e-sports, thousands of new games and educational content in the virtual world. There has also been a rise of cross platforms. The physical games and toys are now available digitally/ virtually with cost saving ideas that people seem to love and enjoy with a vast variety of present out there.

There is a growing demand of Themed toys and games mainly based on social and mainstream media featuring cartoon characters from TV shows and movie franchises. Educational, interactive and multi-functional toys are number two as families choose to buy them as a tool for development. The touch of personalization is also driving innovation and boosting demand for custom-made products. Baby toys are getting smarter and greener as parents are looking for innovative ways to help infants develop basic skills. Building takes a virtual turn with many digital options as well as using creative and reusable compounds with the concept of DIY.

As many toy makers in traditional space have repositioned themselves as entertainment providers rather than “toy makers”, mid-to long-term opportunities and challenges include the need to build expertise and operate across multiple platforms keeping in mind the emerging trends and technologies with conclusive tips like, Integration of Physical and Digital, Appealing to millennial’s nostalgia, Gender neutrality, Incorporating influencers, the unboxing trends, and habit focused toys for specific time.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

DESIGNEDUCATIONALSOCIALTOY Blog

A kit designed to prepare you for your adulthood

22 October 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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In this growing era, people are freer, more independent and have access to set of information thanks to the internet. But still there are some taboo topics that people still find it difficult to communicate and find answers to. One such topic is Sexual Health. Today we are going to talk about – IT KIT, a kit designed to prepare you for your adulthood.

Sex education helps people gain the information, skills and motivation to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. It s high quality teaching about a broad variety of topics, exploring values and beliefs about those topics and gaining skills that are needed to navigate relationships and manage one’s own sexual health. It usually takes place in schools, in community settings, or online.

Answering questions is a major part of sex education. Two rules cover the ground. First, always give a truthful answer to any question; secondly, regard sex knowledge as exactly like any other knowledge.

– Bertrand Russell

The IT KIT prototype was developed by a team at ISL as part of the Innovation Next initiative with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and IDEO. It helps newly autonomous young women to be prepared for any sexual situations they would want to engage in. The idea is to create a box with safe sex products that evolves over user’s age and preferences. A chat bot (IVY) powered by artificial intelligence via text messages and an optional parent integration to facilitate open, informed conversations between parents and teens.

A kit designed to prepare you for your adulthood refers to the K-12 programs that cover a broad range of topics related to :

  1. Human Development (reproduction, puberty, sexual orientation and gender identity)
  2. Relationships (families, friendships, romantic relationships and dating)
  3. Personal skills (communication, negotiation and decision-making)
  4. Sexual behavior (abstinence and sexuality throughout life)
  5. Sexual Health (sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and pregnancy)
  6. Society and Culture (gender roles, diversity and sexuality in the media)

The content of the IT KIT are quite quirky in design language to engage and attract the eye of a viewer. Majorly they have deck of cards for important questions and answers on topics like, What is consent? How to use condom? What to do if condom breaks? They also have comic strips to add a bit of humor to the exchange of knowledge. For certain serious doubts the AI chats are very helpful to know your surroundings and get help if needed.

This kit helps, educates and protects teen girls during a pivotal time in their lives and be like a guardian angel to look out for you and make you feel safe. The awareness that comes from it is always an additional advantage and this kit also helps kids engage in smaller groups and have open minded conversations, At times, it has proved to be an educator for some parents, teachers and vital part of society. It’s high time we start learning and passing on these value added information long with the basic education.

The core team who completed research, interviews, and the Innovation Next process included Margot Mausner, Julian Gindi, and Maggie Gaudaen. They were also joined by several others who helped bring the project to life, Laura Pursel, Maggie Famiglietti, Thomas Degry and Zach Saale.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

ARTDESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

A new way of Education with Experiential Learning

7 October 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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In today’s world full of technology and advancement, only theory based knowledge isn’t enough. Narmada Bal Ghar is an NGO that works on providing a new way of education with experiential learning by empowering 850+ schools with Classroom Labs, Providing resources to 1100+ teachers and reaching more than 250K students all over the world. They believe in making kids Future ready by developing entrepreneurial skills.

Narmada Bal Ghar was established in 1999 by Bharatbhai Mehta along with close friends and relatives. Managing trustee is Mr. C. P. Shah, Director Jayesh A. Oza, with Advisory Committee members : Dr. R. A. Mashelkar (Padma Vibhushan), Dr. Sudhir M. Parikh (Padma Shree), Dr. Balvant Jani, Dr. Anamik Shah and Mr. Kirit Vasa.

NBG is focused on giving Experiential Learning of science and technology to School Students of age 3-18 years, on School education. For Physics, Chemistry and Biology they have designed 120+, 70+ and 80+ tests for observations and experiential learning by activity kits based on official school curriculums.

Apart from school studies, they also have subjects for co-curriculum that offers Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiatives that aids our day to life and are clearly the future in every field:

  1. Computer coding (uses Child compatible Blockly language)
  2. Drone Assembly and piloting (mantling, dismantling, piloting, video shoot, and other uses)
  3. 3D Printing (manufacturing prototypes from deductive to addictive with zero wastage)
  4. Artificial Intelligence technologies (with VRs and artificial screens to expose kids to AI)
  5. Artificial Intelligence products (kids build usable AI products with Plug and Play system)
  6. Digital Encyclopedia (a collection of digitally available resources)
  7. Language Juggler (handling text and speech from physical to digital medium)

They have designed a special place called “Makers Room” for Innovation and Incubators. It is facilitated with tools and product sets for learning, making, exploring new designs and innovating. They can be arranged at the schools or shared by group of schools. Maker room curriculum is designed to ensure skill development and technical ability to qualify for a job or promote enterprise.

Product sets are of those products that

  1. Use A.I./E.T. technologies
  2. Have a real life use and
  3. Carry market prices much higher than the set cost

This “no cost learning opportunity” is designed to reach every income group and the believe every school – teacher – parent can adapt to it. And they also learn – the profit on sale or saving by making rather than buying..!

NBG also believes in gaining Confidence with Character by teaching Music, Dancing, Drawing, Debates, Sports, Yoga, Skating and cultivating general reading habits as a part of Holistic Education. Along with the school knowledge and information, they also work on keeping kids grounded to their Cultural values by knowing the historical stories of their origin. This helps kids to always remember their roots and at the same time advance themselves the emerging technologies.

Lastly, they have also worked on creating competitive platforms to teach healthy sporting competitions that builds skills like, critical thinking, problem solving and group learning. They regularly organize Science innovation contests. The experiments made in these contest are never part of any school textbooks. They are fully designed and prototyped by students. Currently, they are planning for pre-2021 contest at Morbi, Gujarat to accommodate over 150 teams and 600 students.

This everyday changing world offers a million opportunities to those who are seeking it out there. Narmada Bal Ghar provides the necessary vision to look out for those opportunity and help kids gain the required set of skills to turn those opportunities into a chance to change the life, society and the future of the design industry by providing a new way of education with Experiential Learning.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

DESIGNEDUCATIONALOPEN TOYTOY Blog

The Language of THINGS in a Six Bricks construction toy design

24 September 2021 — by _Fabio_Guaricci

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We are today writing about a product design that teaches the Language of THINGS in a Six Bricks construction toy design.

Children must master the Language of THINGS, before they master the Language of WORDS

Friedrich Froebel

Have you ever wondered how many ways can you combine 6 Lego bricks?

There are 915,103,765 ways to combine six, eight-stud LEGO bricks. Yes that is a huge number and that very number is possible ways of being creative. Lego has essentially taken the concrete block, the building block of the world and made it into the building block of our imagination. (Previously, we have talked about SumBlocks, which is open ended blocks used for learning basic arithmetic).

Coming back to the 6 bricks !!

Six Bricks is a product design that teaches the Language of THINGS in a Six Bricks construction toy design, a hands-on learning tool conceptualized by Care For Education(CFE) South Africa in partnership With LEGO Foundation to uplift children, schools and organizations in under-resourced communities. Through fun and short activities with the set of LEGO DUPLO bricks in six bright colors, consist of red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue and light blue 2 x 4 DUPLO bricks

WHY SIX BRICKS ?

6 Bricks is a concept which playfully engages children in variety of skills development, as with any skill, to develop it, one need to explore it, to explore it, and to practice it. Children grow and develop at different rates – it is so easy to adapt 6 Bricks activities to any child’s level, thereby making the activities suitably challenging for all. It caters for different learning styles by using many different ways to teach – it caters for visual learner, the auditory learner, and the tactile learner.

There are over 500 activities available for Six Bricks which enable physical, cognitive, social and emotional development for preschool & elementary children. They can be used by individual working towards skill development in children! It is an ideal educational resource for Teachers, NGOs, Home Scholars, Parents and Social Initiatives like Sunday Bricks, teachSTEAM and many more..

Six blocks helps in mainly Building 4 main Development Areas :

  1. PHYSICAL : With Fine motor skills(hands and fingers), Gross motor skills(whole body), uses senses (sight, touch etc.), Spatial skills / orientation, Balance / Coordination.
  2. INTELLECTUAL : With Attention skills, Reasoning / Logic, Problem-solving, Experimentation, Memory skills, Creativity and Imagination.
  3. EMOTIONAL : With generating Empathy, Motivation, Self-awareness, Express feelings, Self-confidence and building self-esteem.
  4. SOCIAL : By learning language (description), Perspective-taking, Collaboration, Sharing ideas, Thinking, Roles and responsibilities.

WHEN TO USE SIX BLOCKS ?

These activities can take 2-5 minutes. They are Short, Sharp, Engaging and Fun! They can be used as ‘warm up’ activity to begin the day. As an ‘unwind’ activity to close the rigorous academic session. Or as a ‘Brain Break’ during the course of a school day. Or as a ‘Brain-gym’ in any of the learning areas to develop working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility.

They can be used Individually, In small groups, In large groups, With a variety of ages, To remediate learning challenges or as an assessment tool for teachers and therapists. There are some Books and Videos related to the guidance of activities and different categories to learn with these brick like Perceptual Skills, Literacy Skills, Physical Skills, Numeracy Skills, Social-Emotional Skills and Groups Games.

It allows children to make mistakes without feeling ashamed or embarrassed- enables the PROCESS to become important, not the result. Children can make mistakes and learn from their mistakes– improve; try out; experiment without the fear of “being wrong”. In this way they become confident and adventurous and spark their own Imagination to boost up the Creativity.

Edited by – Jesal Patel

DESIGNEDUCATIONALTOY Blog

A SERVICE TO PREVENT SOCIAL UNREST IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

15 November 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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The complexity of the modern world is clear for everyone, it often displaces us, catches us unprepared and puts us in front of topics or scenarios that we don’t know how to deal with. Issues such as discrimination, marginalization, cyberbullying are on the agenda in newspapers and too frequently the protagonists of these events are the youngest because they’re fragile or naive. To counter these phenomena, Webecome was born, a service to prevent social unrest in primary school promoted by Intesa San Paolo.

DESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGTOY Blog

AN AUDIO PLAYER DESIGNED FOR CHILDREN

27 August 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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As a designer I feel a sense of slight satisfaction in seeing beautiful products; if I then discover that they are not only beautiful to look at, but also easy and fun to use, well designed in all their parts, this satisfaction grows with the desire to share my reflections about it. This brief digression is to explain my state of mind when I discovered Yoto, an audio player designed for children…actually calling it audio player is a bit resizing, but let’s go one step at a time!

EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

DESIGN SERVING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR KIDS

12 June 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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Artificial Intelligence is making giant strides and it begins to be perceived naturally also in the market of educational toys. If few months ago we talked about more or less static robots, and the discussion that ignited the most careful parents was about the amount of data that a voice assistant could steal from an unwitting child, well today we introduce you to Moxie; in addition to being the latest news in the field of AI for children, it is also proof that design serving artificial intelligence for kids can open new roads for interaction with robots.

EDUCATIONALTOY Blog

AN IMPORTANT INNOVATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS

15 May 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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If you believe that there’s no more room for news in the educational field, if when you think about innovation you only consider Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence and if you divide the child’s emotions into extreme happiness and hysterical crying, well after this article you’ll need to change your mind. In our relentless hunt for stimulating projects, we came across QUID+, a young Italian editorial company that represents an important innovation for the education of children and parents.