Kids/Babies Maker/Development

Fun with Circuits promises a storybook beginning for engineers in training

Kids are drawn naturally to technology, but oftentimes understand little of how those pixels light up. One way to change that is by stirring the first steps to understanding electronics into a familiar learning took for young ones: the storybook

The Fun With Circuits storybook and basic block-like interactive electronics kit that introduces children to electrical circuit concepts that are fundamental to STEM education. By using storytelling complemented by inviting illustrations, children more easily understand the electrical concepts that underly all types of technology through meaningful context. Kids have to use the colorful circuit components to solve simple puzzles to advance the story. .The developers recommend the product for kids aged 6 through 10 and seek $35,000 by May 9. For $75, one can be shipped by December.

We’ve seen a number of kids’ introductions to electronics and robotics lately. Similar products to Fun With Circuits include the Codie, but there’s something unique about pairing the learning experience with a traditional book that reinforces the idea of being hands-on.

Connected Objects Kids/Babies

TROBO kids’ robot brings snuggling to science education

Once upon a time, a talking teddy bear named Teddy Ruxpin read gave children all over America nightmares and also read them stories through the use of cassette tapes plugged into its torso.

TROBO is the nerdy spiritual successor to Ruxpin in a lot of ways, albeit without the nightmare fuel and with the feature set one would expect in the Internet age. TROBO is a plush robot available in two styles, Edison (male-inspired) and Curie (female-inspired), assuring kids will want a TROBO no matter what kind of toys they like. TROBO reads stories that are focused on science, technology, math, and engineering, fostering a desire to learn and become more skilled in scientific pursuits at a young age. The stories are read aloud with an app used on a tablet or phone that allows kids to read along and also interact with the stories.

The interaction takes place directly, as children make their own avatars that look like them and share their name so TROBO speaks right at the young reader. Multiple stories will be available at launch, with additional TROBO stories being added to the app store over time to prevent content from getting stale or boring. Team TROBO is raising $60,000 for manufacturing and testing the toys, as well as creating more stories. Parents can get their kids a TROBO for $50 delivered in time for next year’s holidays: November 2015.

From the ground up, TROBO is designed to be a toy that children love and want to play with, while at the same time is a toy that inspires them to learn and understand the world around them. For parents and kids, that’s a complete win/win. Assuming, of course, that parents don’t have any leftover trauma from “playing” with Teddy Ruxpin.