With all kinds of amazing projects on Kickstarter, it has made us here at Mammatech wonder about what sort of projects are currently on Kickstarter for kid’s toys. So I’ve spent hours and hours this past week getting sucked into the amazing things that everyday people have invented and are currently looking for funding. The following five recommendations are each a techy toy I would buy for my boys!
- Hackaball $124 USD, suggest age, 6-10, although they say younger kids can generally play with a little help from an older sibling or parent.
A Hackaball is a computer you can throw. What? Throw a computer? Yes! This thing is pretty amazing. You pair the Hackaball with an app on your smartphone, and after the kids learn a few basics, they will be really to get out and play with the device, which is what the inventors of this interactive computer want, to combine playground activities with technology. With your Hackaball, you can invent your own games to play on your own, or a group of your friends. Throwing and kicking of the ball is strongly encouraged by these genius inventors.
The best part of the Kickstarter video is when a kid programs it as an alarm clock, and SLAMS it against the wall opposite his bed when it goes off. As the Mother of two toddlers, things slamming against the wall is about the scariest sound you can hear! If it can withstand a 10 year old grand slamming it into a wall, I suppose it could survive my kiddos. Although my boys will have to wait a few years for this techy toy, as the recommend age group is around 6-10.
2. Airblock $99 USD, suggested age, 8 plus years
Airblock is a modular and programmable starter drone that you program right to your smartphone. It snaps together and starts flying in mere seconds. It’s made of magnetic parts for easy assembly, and the fan blades are surrounded by hexagons, so no worries, it really is kid friendly. It’s also easy for the kids to fly the device, and you can even fly it indoors without fear of making dents in walls or giving the family dog a buzz cut.
One of the coolest things about this techy toy is it’s a drone and hover device. Go ahead and try using it around your pool or bathtub, it will buzz around on top of the water! Oh wait, you crashed it, and busted into a thousand bits? No problem, just rebuild.
The app that you download is easy to use, and teaches kids the basics on programming/coding. Simply drag-and-drop different blocks of commands — like forward, pause, turn, and forward–and connect them together to create a seamless action.
3. Cognitoys $99 USD, all age ranges (I couldn’t find an actual range, but they feature toddlers to upper elementary kids in their videos and pictures)
The genius creators of this interactive dinosaur looked at Amazon’s Alexis and saw a major gap in the market. Alexis follows commands and answers questions, but you can hardly call her ‘kid friendly.’ So they responded to this market gap by inventing a dinosaur answer questions, play games, tell stories, practice spelling and counting, and so much more!
Parents download the app onto their smart device, and once connected, there is no more use for a smart device. Upon connection, you will be informing the app of your child’s age so everything is age appropriate. Something I love about this device is over time, it grows with your child. As your child grows emotionally, the dinosaur responds in kind and encourages your child to grow as well. The dino even develops its own personality over time! It is also programmed to tell your child jokes to cheer them up if they say they’re sad, and it also encourages them to talk to an adult if it is being told the child is scared or upset. For $99, this techy toy is something I am seriously considering for my boys in the near future.
4. Mudwatt (starts at) $29.99 USD, suggested age, elementary school age
Mudwatt is a battery made out of the mud right from your backyard! Of course my boys absolutely love mud, so this is a probably on next year’s Christmas or birthday list!
All of the mud in the world has organisms in it that produce electricity when they eat. You receive the kit, dump in some mud (and you can even toss in some odd stuff in your fridge to ‘feed’ it as well) and put the kit together. But it doesn’t stop there. After several days, there is enough electricity being put out to power a small clock. The more you ‘feed’ it, the more power it puts out. You can charge other small electronic devices over time as well with this techy toy.
There is of course an app, and you can keep track of how much electricity your Mudwatt is putting out on your smart device. Over the course of time your child will learn about electricity, renewable energy, biobatteries, and so much more. School teachers and parents alike are raving over this STEM project toy!
5. Flexo (starts at) $25 USD, suggested age range 5-109 (these are ‘construction bricks’ so small pieces won’t be suitable for littles)
Flexo makes any of your regular construction bricks come to life in new and amazing ways! Flexos are bendable, bouncy, and flexible. They Flexo bricks and tendon-like bands team up with Legos to change the way your child plays. Just a few of the things they highlight are catapults, vehicle suspension, and swing bridges. Another amazing STEM toy for the win!
Where would we be without the crowdfunding site Kickstarter? We certainly wouldn’t have amazing games like Exploding Kittens, or cool technology like the Pebble Watch. And we can’t forget about the fact that JNCO jeans is currently running a campaign to raise enough money to start a kid’s line of clothing.