If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that the ‘child-friendly coding‘ is an hot-topic for us (if you have not read the past articles on the subject, you can retrieve here or here); our attention comes both from the boom of products that have populated the toy market and from the great educational potential of these games. In this article we present Robo Wunderkind, an easy-to-build robot that has just successfully completed a second campaign on Kickstarter.
What brought Awareness Toys at Games for Health Europe and on ADI Design Index 2019 I think it was especially the idea of being able to create toys for adults.
The project, born from the cooperation with Dario Gianoli, counselor educated in generative psychopedagogy, started in 2015 with the goal of bringing objects that could act as facilitators at diverse levels into educational practices. The concepts of instability, void and loss have been represented through simple shapes in order to be able to “dress” with player’s thoughts, memories and emotions.
Awareness Toys have been presented last 8 October at Games For Health Europe 2019, a conference focussed on serious games we already spoke about in this post, this year at its ninth edition. In a context where digital and virtual reality have been main characters, these totally analog toys have tried to give a different perspective on the role of sensory activation in the play as well as on the role of the educator/guide in such critical and deep educational paths.
The collection has also run for the selection of the ADI Deign Index 2019, yearly publication produced by the Italian Industrial Design Association, that every year brings together the best Italian design in production, selected by the ADI’s Permanent Design Observatory. The selection features both products and product systems from diverse markets, theoretical-critical researches, process or corporate researches applied to design. Awareness Toys have been featured in the section of Social Design in the occasion of the presentation of the publication, held in Milan the last 14 October at the Auditorium of the National Science and Technology Museum “Leonardo da Vinci”. An award that confirms the innovative approach of the project and opens it to a specialized audience. Awareness Toys at Games for Health Europe and on ADI Design Index 2019 is maybe the signal of something changing, of an attention that is moving toward play and the adult world.
When we play (or we played, that’s up to you), we are used to following instructions, opening a booklet that explains how that toy works or listening to indications, a more or less rigid path that guides us in a sequence of actions. What if all this was limiting for a child? What would happen if instead of following consequential steps, was given a final goal without caring about the route? We find out with Rigamajic, a toy without instructions that challenges different clichés related to the sphere of childhood and the toy world in general.
Dinosaurs have always been one of the favorite topics of children of all times, we have all been fascinated (maybe we still are) and we have owned at least one puppet. To confirm this statement there are also scientific bases that confirm that almost one child in three has an immeasurable interest in this subject. The academics of the University of Virginia have also found that in children interested in dinosaurs there is a higher threshold of attention and greater capacity to process information, mainly because they read a lot about it and try to deepen their knowledge to expand the possibilities of play. Today we present Dino, a dinosaur toy that helps you learn.
‘Less is more’ is a famous quote by the German architect Mies van der Rohe; from architecture to product design, from fashion to technology, it laid the foundations of a philosophy for which the best design result is inspired by essentiality. This phrase comes clearly into my mind like a luminous neon advertising, as soon as I started to deepen my research on Bilibo, an educational toy that stimulates imagination.
In this article we will talk about an analog STEAM toy project with a digital core for approaching children to art invented by an English start-up. Let’s start by saying that it is scientifically proven that art is good for children. Probably not new, “I always say!” you will think, but the proof of our assumptions comes from the University of Arkansas that has carried out a thorough research on a large sample of children exposed to works of art. The results show that those who have visited museums or are used to the observation of works of art develop different “soft skills” including a greater educational memory and critical thinking skills.
Create fun and engaging experiences that improve health and lifestyle, this is the ambitious motto of ‘Games for Health‘, a Dutch project we’ll talk about in this article. Founded in 2010 by Jurriaan & Sandra van Rijswijk, this non-profit association has the task of bringing together the best minds in the development of toys and healthcare to design gaming technologies that improve people’s physical and mental conditions, as well as creating gamification for a new wellness.
Get yourself comfortable and be patience to get ’till the end of this short article because today we will talk about distraction, self-control difficulties and Piks, a crowdfunding to develop children’s concentration. This game in wood and silicone has particularly intrigued us at first glance for the simplicity of the project and the effectiveness of the results that can be obtained; deepening the research then we discovered that there is much more behind these constructions.
The story of Pixel Press starts with a group of friends who was no more satisfied with just playing video games, so begin designing them. So far nothing exciting, indeed probably the majority of companies in the industry were born in this way; the difference is that Pixel Press has done so in a ‘disruptive’ way: it has made the design and creation of video games for everyone, even for a child, creating a toy to learn design thinking.
Nowadays robotics and Artificial Intellingence are daily topics mainly because of the great progress achieved in the last years. These matters touch each of us more and more closely, just think of the attention aroused by Sophia, the first woman-robot to have received citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Also the toy world is obviously an active participant in the discussion and this is demonstrated by the large quantity of products that aim to develop the ‘skills of the future’ in children: first of all that of coding. Matatalab is one of these toys, a robot to teach coding born in March 2017 and which is already doubling the required goal of its first Kickstarter campaign.