Child’s Play

Competition Details

Opto-blocs & Roll-n-glow

by osmocookie
Co-authors: HuiYing Lim, Jonathan Yue, MiaoLing Li

From the age of three, children develop increasingly refined psycho-motor skills. Through play with building-blocks, children can learn many things: the concept of order – this tower is taller – and the idea of sets – some blocks belong together through size/shape.

Taking a step forward, our design uses blocks with selectively tinted, transparent, mirrored or empty faces as the basic unit for construction, paired with spherical, glowing lights designed to travel through the constructions. This allows children to learn not only about different forms and relationships between blocks, but also to explore the creation of patterns with lights, shadows, and colours.

Both the blocks and the mode of construction used echo traditional building-blocks, with basic geometric forms familiar to both parents and children. Play is hence instinctive. There’re no complicated instructions to follow. Any child can pick up the toy and simply start playing.

Mazes can be formed that stack up several levels, or in a single layer on the floor. When the light is rolled through the maze, shadows are cast on and through the blocks, patterns of colour form through tinted surfaces, and light and images are reflected by the mirrored surfaces.

Blocks can also be arranged to form small houses, or display cases to hold a child’s little treasures. There’re endless possibilities, encouraging children to use their imagination to freely incorporate our design in whatever games they might play.

The design has a long potential lifespan, maximizing the benefits from initial costs of manufacture. With potential for a great variety of uses, even as a child matures, they are a refreshing exception in the current environment of trend-based toys. Even when the toy is eventually obsolete, the plastic material can be recycled. Our proposed lights would run on kinetic-energy, no are batteries required.