It's hard to believe how many classic children's toys are getting modern makeovers these days - from the Etch A Sketch
to toy helicopters
- and now it looks like even the playground swing set is getting a slight upgrade with the Son-X Octavia. When attached to any swing, the Son-X will play different sound bites depending on how high or long a child swings, encouraging them to go higher.
As any sleep-deprived parent will tell you, there's nothing quite like the joy of seeing your precious newborn drift off to sleep in a safe environment … if only because it means you might get a few minutes' rest yourself. As such, there are countless products on the market which promise to help you achieve this almost mythical state of sleep, and soon there could be one more - a hypoallergenic bowl-shaped baby bed.
Even those of us who live for new technology and the wonders it brings cannot escape the power of nostalgia. Being reminded of a toy that fascinated us as children can snap us back to those heady days when stress meant not getting everything you asked for from Santa. This is the feeling that the people behind Etcher are hoping to capitalize on - it's an Etch A Sketch for the iPad.
Imagine if you could accompany all those cool new moves you've just learned from Mortal Combat
or reruns of Bruce Lee's finest celluloid moments with some genuine sound effects ... it would be like actually being in the game or movie. With a Dragon Grip in your Fist of Fury
, that's precisely what's on offer. The joystick-like device is pre-loaded with fighting sounds inspired by the cheesy-but-classic kung fu movies of the 1970s like Enter the Dragon
, that had all the kids in our neighborhood running around barefoot and shirtless with red lipstick wounds painted across their chests.
There's no shortage of baby monitors out there, even high-tech ones. Previously we've seen devices which let parents check on their little ones using an iPhone or iPad
, and others which swivel to track them
, wherever they are. But designer Denny Tsai thinks he's come up with something unique – a baby monitor which is fitted into a cot mobile.
Remember paper? It's that thin thing you used to scribble your shopping list on before everything was stored in zeros and ones. Well, it looks like paper is making a comeback … and thanks to the rise of the Internet of Things
, it's now Wi-Fi enabled. ReaDIYmate is a recent Kickstarter-funded project, which enables users to create paper-based internet companions that respond to things happening in their digital life.
As any parent knows, there are only so many times you can listen to your child's favorite song on repeat before you want to pull your hair out and stuff it in your ears ... and listening to The Wheels on the Bus
on your highly specced hi-fi can feel like overkill, can't it? Well the hörbert – a wooden MP3 player aimed at kids – promises to give you your stereo back.
Babies have a pretty charmed existence, they get food whenever they want, they're pushed around in strollers which resemble arm-chairs on wheels and enjoy relaxing stints in jacuzzis ... wait, what? The MagicBath from Italian design firm BluBleu is a specially designed baby bath featuring an air massage system for your little one's derriere.
Kids love creating art almost as much as they love getting out on their bikes, but with this approach choosing what to do doesn't have to be an either/or decision. The Chalktrail is an add-on which turns any bike or scooter into an artistic tool by holding a stick of chalk which is pressed to the ground behind you as you ride, leaving a colorful trail showing where you've been.
We bet you can remember your first bike. We also bet it looked nothing like the Spherovelo - a sphere-based ride-on for children as young as one year old. Makers Early Rider, from Henley-on-Thames, UK, say the Spherovelo has been designed to improve your little one's balance and motor skills, making it the perfect pre-cursor to a "normal" balance bike.