Connected Objects Toys

Leka smart toy appeals to parents of developmentally-challenged kids

Not every toy can meet the unique needs of autistic and other special needs children.

Leka is a ball-like, robotic smart toy with a display that has been designed for kids with developmental challenges. The customizable toy is equipped with sensors that enable users to play fun and educational games that motivate social interactions, increase motor, cognitive, and emotional skills, and also stimulate autonomy. Leka can detect and respond to a child’s interaction through autonomous behavior.

For example, if Leka is mistreated and thrown on the ground, it appears to become sad and turns red. An interactive response like this aims to help users better understand social cues and improve their social skills.

Kids/Babies Toys

Versa Bricks bridge Lego, Hot Wheels and K’Nex for kid bulding fun

It’s been said that kids who enjoy building blocks and puzzles as their favorite toys often grow up to be tomorrow’s engineers. Versa Bricks seems to have an interesting way to encourage the builder in every kid, and maybe even the kid in every parent. Versa Bricks are touted as being compatible with Lego type bricks, Hot Wheels tracks, K’nex, and HO scale train tracks. So all of those really cool ramps can now be placed much more easily under the race track as the Hot Wheels car plunges through the window of a Lego building – kind of like in the movies. For kids who like to think on a grander scale, XYZ and Assembly are worth checking out. To add a bit of artistic flare to that building enthusiasm, Curiositoys may be a perfect fit. This campaign seeks to raise $17,500 by December 2014. For $9, backers get 12 Versa Bricks (two sets) with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Flexure offers a bouncy connector toy

Flexure 64391db0d9501a09d69eaca4eacd442d_large[1]Flexure is designed with the budding engineer, architect and generally creative child in your family in mind. The connectors are made of flexible food-safe silicone, so kids (and perhaps even teens and some adults) can create items that bounce and move if they choose. The dowels are made of natural wood and come in lengths of 3, 5, and 8 inches. So the toy even has educational value in that the dowel lengths are part of the Fibonacci Sequence, which provide a convenient additive relationship such as 3+5=8. Flexure reminds one of another recent crowdfunded construction kit called Strawbees that has even more flexibility in terms of the connector length. The connectors and dowels are connected by just pushing them together — no instructions needed. For a pledge of $35, backers get one complete product, which includes 30 silicone parts (5 of each connecter) and 30 wooden dowels (10 of each length). This is a $5 savings on the anticipated retail price of the product. Expected delivery is June 2014.